China said in September it would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions under a cap-and-trade system during a White House summit, a year after it pledged to cap emissions before the year 2030. Power Emissions: Air in China 10 percent less polluted last year

Air in China 10 percent less polluted last year

The Associated Press

China said in September it would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions under a cap-and-trade system during a White House summit, a year after it pledged to cap emissions before the year 2030.

People wearing masks walk past the Turret of the Forbidden City on a heavily polluted day in BeijingAverage concentrations of air particulates in 189 Chinese cities fell by 10 percent in 2015, according to a new Greenpeace report, a sign that pollution overall is decreasing even as catastrophic levels of smog this winter in northern China effectively shut down schools and roads. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

 

BEIJING (AP) — Average concentrations of air particulates in 189 Chinese cities fell by 10 percent in 2015, according to a new Greenpeace report, a sign that pollution overall was decreasing even as catastrophic levels of smog this winter in northern China effectively shut down schools and roads.

Overall pollution levels in Beijing were down for the second consecutive year but skyrocketed in December, when a thick gray soup enveloping the capital prompted the government to issue a first-ever "red alert" warning, limiting automobile use and closing schools.

The Greenpeace study released Wednesday found the northern Chinese region surrounding Beijing has seen concentrations of microscopic PM2.5 particles drop by a quarter since 2013. Similar improvements were seen in the Yangtze and Pearl river delta areas around Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Still, 80 percent of Chinese cities did not meet national air quality standards, the group found, pinning blame on coal consumption. China, the location of the vast majority of coal power plants added in the last decade, has been the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, although the United States far exceeds it on a per capita basis.

Chinese leaders have vowed in recent years to seriously confront pollution and the trail of environmental damage left by decades of runaway growth. The central government has passed a series of legislative measures since Premier Li Keqiang declared a "war" on pollution at China's annual parliament meeting in 2014 and continued to push renewable energy technology, but changes have not always trickled down to local authorities under pressure to meet economic output targets.

China said in September it would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions under a cap-and-trade system during a White House summit, a year after it pledged to cap emissions before the year 2030.

Researchers at Germany's Max Planck institute have estimated that smog has led to 1.4 million premature deaths in China every year, while the non-profit group Berkeley Earth in California had a higher figure, 1.6 million.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs