China having the last laugh against critics of environmental pollution?

China 2015
Short Bytes: Air pollution in China is increasing at an alarming rate. As a result, about 4,000 people die every day. According to the study, the large amount of coal-burning has been cited as the main reason.
Air Pollution in China is Killing 4,000 People Every Day
August 15, 2015
Air pollution is one of the major downsides to the rapid industrialization as it means more number of industries and more burning of coal for electricity. Countries like the USA, China, and India contribute the most to the worsening air pollution and a recent research has shown some really disturbing results regarding air pollution in China … for more, go to 

China having the last laugh against critics of environmental pollution?

KUALA LUMPUR (March 2018): There was a time when the rest of the world was laughing at mainland Chinese communities having to wear masks in public due to air-pollution.

The communist government had successfully pushed for economic development and neglected the need to control pollution.

The media had a field day whacking China for the fast deteriorating global warming concerns.

In 2014, China’s Premier Li Keqiang vowed a “war against pollution” but that was met with skepticism by the pro-US international media.

The rest of the world viewed the vow as “all talk only”.

Amazingly, barely five years after the Chinese government acted to “heal” its environment in “choked cities”, Beijing’s pollutant readings have been slashed by 35%; Hebei Province’s capital city, Shijiazhuang, cut its concentration by 39 %; and Baoding, called China’s most polluted city in 2015, reduced its concentration by 38%.”

However, there is still much to work on on environmental pollution in the world’s largest industrialised country of 1.4 billion people.

Here’s the details of China’s first battle victory in the war against pollution and a news update:

"China Wins First Battle In ‘War Against Pollution’

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MARCH 12, 20180

For many years now, China has struggled to balance its economic development with environmental sustainability. The problem became especially unavoidable, undeniable, and irresistible for overseas media in 2013, when Beijing and its surroundings faced the “airpocalypse,” an all-encompassing blanket of smog in historic proportions. By 2014, Premier Li Keqiang vowed a “war against pollution,” a proposal whose seriousness was met with some skepticism at the time. The ambivalence of the government was proved, some argued, when a 2015 documentary called Under the Dome detailed the intractability of the problem of air pollution, and was censored after a week — long enough to raise awareness, but not long enough, perhaps, to birth an environmental movement for lasting change.

Now it is clear that air pollution, particularly in China’s largest cities, is rapidly declining.

· “Beijing’s readings on concentrations of fine particulates declined by 35 percent [since 2014]; Hebei Province’s capital city, Shijiazhuang, cut its concentration by 39 percent; and Baoding, called China’s most polluted city in 2015, reduced its concentration by 38 percent.” That is the finding of Michael Greenstone of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, writing (paywall) in the New York Times.

· Life expectancy in those three cities will rise by about 3.3 years for Beijingers, 5.3 years for those in Shijiazhuang, and 4.5 years for residents of Baoding, Greenstone found.

· “Residents nationally could expect to live 2.4 years longer on average if the declines in air pollution persisted,” Greenstone estimates.

· He cautions, however, that “China’s early reductions in air pollution have been achieved through an engineering-style fiat that dictates specific actions, rather than relying on markets to find the least expensive methods to reduce pollution,” and that “further improvements will also be much costlier than necessary if they too are pursued by fiat, particularly with many of the easier fixes having already been made.”

· Read Greenstone’s paper detailing his research and findings here.

Air pollution, of course, is only one front — one battle — in China’s war against pollution. Some of the others, including water and soil pollution, are alarmingly severe. China’s best hopes for addressing air pollution in the long term, including by leading the world in solar panel and electric vehicle production and sales, as Bloomberg reports, also do nothing to address water and soil pollution. But for now, we can all breathe just a little easier in China’s big cities, as the first of many battles in the “war against pollution” has seen remarkable success.

China shake-up gives climate change responsibility to environment ministry
Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018
4:25 PM MYT
By david stanway

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will hand over a slew of new responsibilities for river, marine and soil pollution as well as climate change to a beefed-up environment ministry, it said on Tuesday, part of its biggest shake-up in years.

The 10-year-old Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) will be transformed into the wider-reaching Ministry for Ecological Environment, and will absorb environmental duties formerly held by the land, water and agriculture ministries, China's parliament said.

In a bid to take on polluters, China has been strengthening its environment ministry, drawing up new laws, setting up monitoring systems and launching campaigns to boost compliance by heavy industries.

"With the new management structure, the efforts for air, water, soil, and ecological protection will be more coordinated," said Tonny Xie, director of the Secretariat for the Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC).

The enlarged body will also absorb functions from the State Oceanic Administration, and from the cabinet office in charge of a huge cross-country water project aimed at easing drought in the north by diverting rivers from the flood-prone south.

Climate change and low-carbon growth were previously the responsibility of the powerful state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and switching them to the new ministry could aid coordination, said Li Shuo, a senior climate adviser with environmental group Greenpeace.

"But much more detail, including who heads which department, is needed to tell if it is a net positive move," he said, adding that the NDRC had been a champion of climate policy.

The NDRC's climate role was partly a legacy of veteran climate change official Xie Zhenhua, who joined it in 2007 after resigning from what was then the State Environmental Protection Administration, in the wake of a toxic benzene leak in northeastern China.

"It is logical to transfer these duties," said Shawn He, an environmental lawyer with a Beijing-based law firm, Huamao & Guigu.

"But the all-powerful NDRC was very effective at pushing forward climate policies because its powers are immense and it can play a role that no other ministry can play in terms of implementing its agenda."

The switch comes as China struggles to meet pledges to launch a nationwide carbon trading system. Beijing was forced to scale back ambitions late last year amid technical problems.

"It will involve lots of trans-ministerial efforts and coordination, and I don't know whether the new ministry will have the authority to do that," said He.

Ultimately, the power of environmental regulators in China will depend on its leaders' determination to battle the outcome of more than three decades of untrammelled economic growth.

"It is the Party that gets its act together on issues such as air pollution, and not the ministry," said Li of Greenpeace, referring to the ruling Communist Party.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) - The Star Online

Most Chinese cities fail air quality standards in 2015: Greenpeace
January 20, 2016
Nearly 300 Chinese cities failed to meet national standards for air quality last year, Greenpeace said Wednesday, despite marginal improvements in some of the worst-hit areas. China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations, heavy industry and vehicle use, and it has become a major source of discontent with the ruling Communist Party. The average level of PM2.5 particulates—small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs—in the 366 cities monitored was more than five times the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), government data compiled by Greenpeace showed. Of those monitored—which include all of the nation's major cities—a total of 293, or 80 percent, were higher than China's own looser national standards. China allows for a yearly average of 35 micrograms per cubic metre, versus the annual WHO standard of 10 micrograms per cubic metre. None of the cities in the survey met WHO standards … for more, go to