Air pollution in China

Air pollution is bigger killer in China than smoking, says new Greenpeace study

Traffic on the smog-shrouded Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in Jiangsu province's capital, Nanjing, where 114 out of every 100,000 people died prematurely because of the health impact of pollution in 2013. Photo: CNS

Tiny smog-inducing pollutants, known as PM2.5, led to about 257,000 premature deaths across the mainland's 31 municipalities and provincial capitals in 2013.

Thursday, 5 February, 2015, 10:27am 9 comments

Confidence in Hong Kong undermined by air pollution, handling of Occupy movement

Air pollution levels in Hong Kong reached its highest level on January 21, undermining business confidence in the city. Photo: AFP

In Beijing last week, I gasped through an air pollution index of 540, breathing air that tasted of coal dust.

That made me think – how does Hong Kong’s atmosphere, measured by the US Environmental Protection Department’s Air Quality Index (AQI), compare to that of our nation’s capital?

30 Jan 2015 - 4:00am 8 comments

INTERACTIVE: China's air pollution in 2014

INTERACTIVE: China's air pollution in 2014

Growing air pollution levels in China's cities have been the flip side to these past decades’ economic boom. Through official data collected from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) website, we take a look at one of the country’s gravest public health hazards.

27 Jan 2015 - 3:13pm

China treads cautiously in setting up carbon emissions trading

While mainland China is the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide emissions, it has been relatively late in establishing exchanges to trade the pollutants. Photo: AP

China launched five regional carbon emissions exchanges last year, and two more are expected soon, but it is years away from having a mature trading platform.

14 Feb 2014 - 4:24am

Rich nations outsourcing pollution to China, says UN report

Factories in China and other rising economies now produce more carbon pollution than industries in America and Europe.

The world's richest countries are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and other rising economies, according to a draft UN report.

21 Jan 2014 - 9:15am 20 comments

Beijing sets pollution targets for all provinces as smog worsens

The financial district of Pudong in Shanghai is seen on a hazy day. Photo: Reuters

All 31 provincial governments have signed up for specific air pollution pledges for the next four years as the mainland's leadership struggles to deal with worsening smog.

9 Jan 2014 - 12:04pm 3 comments

Cars or coal? Scientists split over main culprit of Beijing's air pollution

A Chinese couple wears protective masks while going around the Tiananmen Square on December 7, 2013. Photo: EPA

As China enters 2014 reeling from one of the worst polluted winters in recent years, experts from two major research institutes have openly disagreed over what is the main culprit behind the capital city's dismal air pollution.

2 Jan 2014 - 12:49pm 2 comments

Choking, toxic smog spreads across the nation to inland and coastal cities

Smog almost completely hides the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Photo: CFP

The mainland's notorious smog has spread from major city clusters around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to inland cities in central and western provinces and in the country's north.

21 Dec 2013 - 5:23am 11 comments

Inventors battle to help Beijing beat chronic pollution problem

Artist Matt Hope and his "breathing bicycle", which features an air filtration system fixed to the rider's helmet. Photo: SCMP

With no quick solution to pollution in sight, people are inventing their own protection against the dangerous smog.

19 Nov 2013 - 9:02am

Guangzhou announces emergency measures to tackle heavy pollution

Guangzhou unveils emergency measures to tackle heavy pollution

Guangzhou's government has rolled out emergency measures for days when air pollution is high. They include taking nearly a third of government and half of private vehicles off the road and forcing factories to reduce emissions of pollutants.

13 Nov 2013 - 9:32am 2 comments

Beijing 'flexible' in global climate talks amid smog concerns at home

A satellite image shows the smog that forced Harbin to close schools last month. Photo: Nasa

Beijing intends to be "flexible" in UN global climate talks, the country's top negotiator said yesterday, while adding that getting rich nations to keep pledges to fund mitigation steps by poorer countries would be key to a deal.

6 Nov 2013 - 9:39am

China climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua laments ‘severe’ pollution

Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission. Photo: Xinhua

China’s top negotiator at international climate talks said on Tuesday that air pollution in his own country – the world’s biggest carbon emitter – is harming its citizens.

“China indeed is suffering from severe air pollution,” said Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning body.

5 Nov 2013 - 10:55pm

Beijing to adopt emergency measures to combat smog

Heavy smog smothers the Second Ring Road in Beijing. Photo: EPA

Beijing is seeking to tame the spikes in its infamous smog by preparing emergency measures such as factory shutdowns and traffic limits to kick in when air pollution levels are especially heavy.

22 Oct 2013 - 8:33pm

No smoke without fire – is Cantonese cooking cleanest in China?

A Beijing government official said that Chinese cooking was the main source of air pollution in the capital. Photo: Xinhua

A national debate is underway in the Chinese press to find out just how damaging cooking is to the environment after a Beijing government official said that Chinese cooking was the main source of air pollution in the capital.

15 Oct 2013 - 7:05pm

Better pollution policies would mean longer lives for millions

Better pollution policies would mean longer lives for millions

In the early 1990s, China's former premier, Zhu Rongji, quipped that the move from Shanghai to work in Beijing would take five years off his life.

11 Jul 2013 - 7:57am 1 comment