BEIJING – China has managed to reduce the average concentration of the most harmful air pollution particles by 38.2 percent so far this year in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the country’s most polluted area, according to official data, state news agency Xinhua reported Monday.
Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie called the achievements remarkable, and said they were made possible by putting in place the world’s largest clean coal-fired power generation system over the past five years.
“The effective practices adopted in the past five years will continue to guide the air pollution control efforts in future,” China Daily reported the minister as saying.
From January to November, the capital saw the average concentration of PM2.5 – the smallest, most harmful particles of pollution – reduced to 60 micrograms per cubic meter, a reduction of 25.6 percent.
The World Health Organization advises against more than 24 hours of exposure to PM2.5 concentrations above 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
Li said Beijing had seen many blue days in December, something less common during winter, which is usually the worst period of the year for air quality due to the operation of central heating, which is generally fueled by coal.
The PM2.5 levels were reduced in the Yangtze River and the Pearl River Delta by 31.7 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.