Anyone who’s been keeping up on air quality concerns in China will be interested to know that 75% of big Chinese cities still fail to meet air quality standards, although slowly but surely they are making progress to meet air quality standards.
Yet, according to Reuters and the Chinese environment ministry, that number is actually positive, signifying a relatively substantial increase in year over year air quality – which showed 90% of big Chinese cities didn’t meet air quality standards last year, suggesting a 15% year over year improvement.
Nearly 75 percent of China’s big cities failed to meet air quality standards in June, the environment ministry said on Monday, an improvement over the same month last year, as the country continues to wage “war on pollution.”
Nineteen cities met air quality standards every day, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement on its website (www.mep.gov.cn), compared to five at the same time last year.
Air quality in the capital Beijing was subpar on almost 60 percent of the days in June and saw levels of PM2.5 – particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers that can penetrate deep into the lungs – rise 11 percent compared to the same period last year.
Amid growing public disquiet about smog and other environmental risks, China said last year it would “declare war on pollution” and it has started to eliminate substandard industrial capacity and reduce coal consumption.
Last year, nearly 90 percent of China’s 74 big cities failed to meet air quality standards.
The state standard is 35 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, but the government does not expect to bring the national average down to that level before 2030.
Considering how bad the current air quality is in the majority of major Chinese cities, seeing national relief to state standards in under 20 years is quite impressive and a credit to the country’s serious sentiment for helping it’s citizens.