top of page

Inspirational Story of the Week: China's War on Pollution Improved Air Quality 42%...

An Article from the Good News Network...


Proving that change is possible if the will to create it is present, Chinese megacities like Beijing that were once famous for their apocalyptic grey skies are enjoying the lowest levels of air pollution they’ve experienced in the 21st century.


Falling 42% from an average high in 2013 when Chinese air pollution was higher than 50 particles per cubic centimeters of city air, the change has increased the lifespan of Chinese urbanites by 2.2 years.


The news comes from a report published by the University of Chicago called the Air Quality Life Index which listed some of the actions taken by the Chinese government to reduce air pollution, described by the CCP as a “war on pollution.”


This has included reducing the presence of heavy industry like steel production in city centers, as well as restricting coal power plants from being built inside cities while shuttering those that were already there.


Some cities like Beijing have reduced the number of cars allowed on the roads during peak hours, similar to London’s congestion charge. Lastly, China’s mass urban tree-planting campaigns have been well documented.


While the life expectancy has risen on average 2.2 years, some cities have seen far more drastic increases. Citizens living under the new “Beijing Blue,” are predicted to live 4 additional years, while those 11 million in the north-central city of Baoding are predicted to gain 6.


“At the foundation of those actions were common elements: political will and resources, both human and financial, that reinforced each other,” the report said. “When the public and policymakers have these tools, action becomes much more likely.”


In fact, the decline in China’s pollution levels has been so drastic that it lowered the world average, which the report says would have increased if not for the Middle Kingdom’s war on pollution.


Although Chinese city air is still several times higher than the WHO’s recommended minimum, it shows what’s accomplishable with political and civic effort—particularly to its neighbors in South Asia where the report warns air quality is worsening.

bottom of page