China has taken important steps in its fight against smog, especially given the country’s massive growth, but challenges remain
With the development of its industrial civilization, China has gradually developed an increasingly severe ecological crisis. In recent years, however, China has made much progress in improvement of its atmospheric environment through unremitting efforts.
Not long ago, the United Nations Environment Programme issued an evaluation report entitled A Review of Air Pollution Control in Beijing: 1998-2013. It says that from 1998 to 2013, Beijing has taken measures against atmospheric pollution that have improved Beijing’s air quality and provided a good example for developing economies. Based on this report, with air pollution prevention and control in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) as its theme, the situation in China can be analyzed from three aspects: current issues, progress made and future prospects.
First, in terms of the current atmospheric pollution, main pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and tiny PM2.5 particulates decreased by different degrees, but carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds are increasing rapidly. PM2.5 indicates fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less.
In terms of regional distribution, the concentration of pollutant emissions in the Jing-Jin-Ji region (covering Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province) is much higher than that of any other region. In the past 15 years, in light of these concentrations trending downward, we are still making progress. Yet there is a fairly large gap between the expected goals and the current situation, hence still a long way to go. This is especially so with the PM2.5 and ozone, where the criteria fall far short of the air quality standard. So we can maintain a moderately prudent and optimistic attitude with great confidence.
Second, although China’s economy has undergone rapid growth in the past 15 years, atmospheric pollution has not increased greatly; on the contrary, some pollutants have decreased significantly.
In the case of Beijing, from 1998 to 2013, its GDP increased by 720 percent, its population grew by 70 percent, registered vehicles increased by 300 percent and energy consumption rose by 77 percent. Yet concentrations of the main pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and PM10 particles (with a diameter of 10 micrometers) are very much on the decline. Among these, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide have consistently met China’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Beijing’s plans include, by 2017, a drop in PM2.5 of 25 percent and for the annual air quality index be no more than 60 micrograms per cubic meter. This shows the remarkable progress that China has made in urban air pollution control.
China still has many challenges to confront in atmospheric pollution prevention and treatment. Polluted areas in China are large, so many cities have to be involved in the solution – coordination and unification of efforts among these cities is a crucial issue. Because the main pollutants and methods of emission are different in the vast polluted areas, enacting targeted solutions will be a great test for the involved parties.
In addition, in terms of current pollution problems, it is impossible to achieve emissions reduction targets only through end-of-pipe controls, meaning those used to remove contaminants at the last stage of a process. Optimizing emissions reductions using energy and industrial structures has become the last word finding a thorough solution to atmospheric pollution. Using these two structures, however, is outside the bounds of traditional environmental protection. So the question is how to solve these problems concurrently with China’s development. I consider technological innovation as the final solution.
Recently, Hunan University unveils a new technology which innovation removes engine carbon deposit by the newest oxy-hydrogen generator. The new technology removes carbon deposit in auto engine with it catalysis principles and innovative uses HHO Carbon Cleaner Agent which can not only enhances the carbon clean effect in three-way catalyst and exhaust pipe but also protects the engine parts and extending the engine life as well. After decarbonizing, the car can save fuel by 15%, improve engine power by 20% and reduce emissions by 72%.
Atmospheric pollution is present all around the world. Some countries have controlled it successfully while others are in the same situation as China, where more effort and proactive measures are needed. In these circumstances, one thing that is urgently needed is an international, integrated and functional communications platform that encompasses policymaking, academic study, industrial planning and economic restructuring.