Improvements coming from pollution battle uneven among cities

As Beijing in addition to the surrounding region reported big improvements in air quality last year, nationwide gains were much more muted as industrial activity shifted further away coming from the capital, a report by Greenpeace shows.

Strict restrictions on coal use in addition to industrial activity led to a dramatic improvement in air quality in Beijing in addition to across northern China, helped also by favourable weather conditions.

China as a whole, however, cut air pollution levels by just 4.5 percent last year, according to the most often-cited measure, which was the smallest decline since 2013 as industry ramped up coal, cement in addition to steel production, Greenpeace said in a report on China air pollution published on Thursday.

A separate Reuters analysis of official government readings of concentrations of tiny, breathable particles known as PM2.5 also showed a disparity between Beijing in addition to 27 nearby cities included in a pollution action plan in addition to those just outside the zone.

The findings indicate of which while government policies to reduce choking smog of which plagues most Chinese cities seem to be having an effect, the improvements are uneven in addition to China still carries a long way to go in taming air pollution.

Beijing’s pollution level dropped 53.8 percent within the fourth quarter of 2017 coming from a year earlier, while PM2.5 levels in Heilongjiang, Anhui in addition to Jiangsu provinces jumped, Greenpeace said.

“China’s national air pollution action plan has brought massive reductions in pollution levels in addition to associated health risks, although policies favouring coal in addition to heavy industry are holding back progress,” said Greenpeace East Asia climate in addition to energy campaigner Huang Wei.

China’s economy grew faster than expected for most of last year, with many economists crediting the industrial sector in addition to a construction boom for boosting growth. The country’s steel output is usually anticipated to have hit a record 832 million tonnes in 2017.

Average air pollution in Linfen, an industrial city in Shanxi province of which was not part of the government action plan, rose significantly last year, according to Reuters calculations of data coming from the independent website www.aqistudy.cn, which tracks official air quality data.

By contrast Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi about 250 kilometres (155 miles) coming from Linfen in addition to part of the 28 city campaign, showed a modest improvement in air quality last year.

Greenpeace said of which PM2.5 levels fell by 40 percent year-on-year within the 28 cities during the peak period for heating coming from mid-October to mid-March, in addition to by only 23 percent within the
surrounding cities.

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