BEIJING, China | China, The largest polluter in the world, “is now winning the war against pollution”, atmospheric to the point of sketching an increase in life expectancy of more than two years, according to a u.s. study released on Tuesday.
From data collected by 200 receivers distributed throughout the country, the University of Chicago has calculated that the rate of fine particles, very harmful to health, had declined by 32% between 2013 and 2017.
If this trend continue, the average life expectancy of Chinese increase of 2.4 years, according to the study. The fine particles (PM 2.5) play a role in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancer.
“There is no example of a country achieving a reduction from the air pollution. It is remarkable,” says AFP Michael Greenstone, who led the study at the Institute of energy policy from the University of Chicago.
By contrast, it took more than a decade in the United States to achieve a comparable improvement after the adoption of a law on the air in 1970.
“The past four years have proven, it’s that things can change, and even quickly, with the political will,” observes Mr. Greenstone.
Under the pressure of public opinion, the communist regime has launched in 2013 a plan against pollution intended to reduce to a quarter the concentration of fine particles in certain key areas such as around Beijing and Shanghai.
“China is not considered a democratic country and yet we find that the government had to take measures that the opinion was required,” notes Mr. Greenstone.
The policy on pollution control is, however, accompanied by a social and economic cost, the authorities ordering the closure of thousands of factories too close to the city centre.
They have also decreed the end of 2017 the end of the heating coal, the main source of energy in China, in the northern regions of the country, even before that of systems of gas heating could be installed. Of the schools of the province of Hebei (north), were obliged to be in a class in the courtyard, where the temperature was less cold than the interior…
In the winter, traditionally a very polluted in the north of China, has been relatively pure for this year, but a peak of pollution hit Beijing Tuesday, with a rate of fine particles higher than 300 micrograms per m3, which is more than 12 times the standard recommended by the world health Organization (WHO).