China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection revealed Sunday that the country’s major polluting emissions declined in the first half of 2015.
Published on the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s website and sourced through China’s state news agency, Xinhua, the statistics reveal that China’s major polluting emissions “have been on a large-scale decline in the first six months of 2015.”
Specifically, according to Liu Bingjiang, head of the Department of Total Pollutants Control, year-on-year figures showed that the emission of chemical oxygen demand decreased by 2.9%, ammoniacal nitrogen by 3.18%, sulfur dioxide by 4.63%, and nitrogen oxide decreased by 8.8%.
The Ministry also highlighted the work of “power plants that remove nitrogen oxide,” which reached a capacity of 750 million kilowatts during the first six months of the year, accounting for 87% of the total installed thermal power capacity. Additionally, “coal-fired plants that remove sulfur dioxide now accounted for 96% of total installed coal-fired power capacity in China at the end of June.”
China also reported that it increased gas usage by 750 million cubic meters, which replaced a reported 1.7 million tonnes of coal.
Over the past several years, China has been desperately looking for ways to curb its harmful emissions from its fossil fuel-intensive electricity generating power plants. Earlier this year Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced plans for his country to reduce carbon emissions, specifically, that “China’s carbon dioxide emissions will peak by around 2030, but China will work hard to achieve the target at an even earlier date.”
Figures released in March of this year added further hope to the idea that China could make significant headway in reducing its harmful emissions levels, when the National Bureau of Statistics of China indicated that coal consumption fell by 2.9% in 2014.
Many will remain skeptical of China’s self-reporting, but China sits as one of the most powerful economies in the world, and has taken more steps towards a cleaner and more renewable energy future than the majority of the “civilized” world.