In a recent report by Xinhua, China has proposed new targets for improved air quality, despite them being above the limit recommended by the WHO. The country aims to reduce the national average concentration of fine particulate matter, a measure of air quality, to less than 28 micrograms per cubic meter by 2027 and less than 25 micrograms by 2035, reinforcing its commitment to green and low-carbon development.
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Efforts to Improve Air Quality
Chinese cities have been grappling with high air pollution readings in recent months, despite efforts by the authorities to improve air quality in recent years. The proposal outlined areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze River Delta, as a “key battlefield”, where it will focus on controlling the amount of fine particulate matter and vigorously reduce the emission of multiple pollutants. It will also promote an ultra-low emission upgrade for steel and cement manufacture along with other high-emitting industries.
New Air Quality Targets and Standards
China previously set its national “interim” air quality standard at 35 micrograms per cubic meter, well above the 5 microgram limit recommended by the WHO. The new targets signify a step towards stricter air quality standards within the country. The world’s top carbon emitter also reinforced its goal to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. China plans to build capacity and a system for carbon emission controls, with a gradual shift from controls over energy consumption. It also aims to include more products in its carbon market and improve the market for greenhouse gas trading.
Challenges and Focus Areas
The challenges in meeting these new targets are significant, as it requires substantial changes across various industries. The proposal specifically focuses on controlling the amount of fine particulate matter and reducing the emission of multiple pollutants in the named regions. The plan also emphasizes on promoting an ultra-low emission upgrade for steel and cement manufacture, along with other industries that have high carbon emissions.
Global Impact and Collaboration
With climate change being a global issue, China’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and improving air quality is not only beneficial for its citizens but also for the global community. Collaboration with international organizations and other countries with similar goals is essential for effectively combating climate change and its impact on air quality.
This proposal is a significant step towards sustainable development and cleaner air for the people in China. It signifies the country’s dedication to being a responsible global citizen in combating climate change and its adverse effects on air quality.