Beijing About To Be Erased From World's Most Polluted Cities List

BEIJING
FILE PHOTO: Cars drive on the road during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, July 2, 2019.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo)

Beijing's noxious air condition has greatly changed over the years and the bustling capital is about to renew its status as one of the most polluted metros on the planet, the latest data revealed.

The city is bent on cutting down levels of toxic smog and other lung-damaging pollutants called 'PM2.5' by nearly 21 percent this year, which is bigger than last year's, and by nearly 75 percent compared to 2017, Swiss air quality monitoring firm IQAir AirVisual reported.

The average PM2.5 readings per hour in the smog-covered Beijing was down to almost 43 mcg-per cubic meter of air in the first half this year, declining from 53 in the same quarter in 2018.

Beijing has been spearheading a serious campaign to curb rising volumes of lung-damaging pollutants in 2014 and has since made huge efforts to clamp down and revoke licenses of industrial companies found violating the city's air quality ordinance.

The city has also been working tirelessly to improve carbon and fuel emission standards and slash coal consumption right in the capital and its adjacent neighbors.

IQAir said that there has been a huge difference since environmental authorities worked in bringing down the pollution in Beijing. "Compared to a decade ago, the difference is very striking," the air purification firm said.

But, the quality of air in Beijing this year is expected to be four times greater than the World Health Organization's yearly mean PM2.5 levels of 10 micrograms/cubic meter, and also higher than mainland China's national allowable concentration of 35 micrograms.

Beijing was listed No. 122 in the world's most polluted cities last year, based on findings by environmental watchdogs Greenpeace and AirVisual released last March. The report was also supported by the US Embassy in Beijing and 34 other state-sponsored environmental groups.

Chinese climate change advocates and environment officials have vowed to adopt more sustainable and effective measures to contain the deadly effects of pollution but stressed it will not be lenient in its efforts to go after environment law violators.

Beijing has already pointed out it will limit the sale of fuel and fireworks starting this month to make sure the city minimizes the damage caused by these air pollutants especially during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic on October 1.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported in February this year that air pollution in 39 major rural cities in China had grown 16 percent in January as a result of the industrial boom, but noted that only 4 of 28 of these cities had complied with their air quality standards and that was after these had been "dramatically reduced."

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