The first 7 months of 2017 has seen air quality in northern China continue to worsen at a rapid rate, going by newly released figures from the country’s environment ministry.
The 13 largest cities in the northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region apparently saw PM2.5 levels climb 11.3% over this time period, going by the new figures. Average readings during this time period were 69 micrograms per cubic meter.
So, if the Chinese government is going to actually achieve its air pollution reduction goals, there will seemingly need to be some very drastic action taken soon.
It should probably be explained here, though, that recent months have actually seen regional air pollution levels fall notably, but this is typical of summer months — winter months are when air pollution levels are highest in most of China.
Reuters provides more: “The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has pledged to cut PM2.5 levels by more than quarter over the 2012-2017 period. Beijing is also under pressure to cut average concentrations to less than 60 micrograms for the whole of 2017.
“… The capital, Beijing, which has promised ‘extraordinary’ efforts against smog this year, saw average PM2.5 concentrations reach 64 micrograms over the period, down 1.5% on the year, but the amount of larger PM10 particles rose 13.6%.
“Overall PM2.5 levels throughout China hit an average of 45 micrograms in the first seven months, the same as last year. China’s official standard is 35 micrograms, higher than the level of 10 micrograms the World Health Organization recommends.”
With regard to air pollution levels this coming winter, the government in China previously promised to reduce industrial activity in the north to avoid a repeat of this last winter’s extreme air pollution levels. Steel production in the north, for instance, is expected to be slashed by around half this coming winter.