In the contemporary times, The People’s Republic of China is challenged with air pollution as the most noticeable environmental issue due to the substantial combustion of coal with insufficient emission controls (Wang & Mauzerall 1706). It is not an untold secret that China’s economy is growing rapidly. However, this economic growth is fueled by an enormous power demand that consequently poses considerable challenges to domestic, regional, and global atmospheric environments. Acid rain affects approximately one-third territory of China which is threatening the survival of marine life, forests, and agricultural fields. It is unfortunate that even though China’s economy is growing by leaps and bounds, but the energy demand’s increase and reliance on coal are having a tremendous effect on air quality. In addition, the coal consumption is also posing a severe challenge to “reducing acid deposition, as well as its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the main contributing factor to global warming” (“China: Air, Land, and Water: Environmental Priorities for a New Millennium” 77). For the same reasons, air pollution in China has emerged as a serious environmental concern for environmentalists, policymakers, and economists (Feng).
According to facts and figures, China is ranked as the world’s worst air polluted country and thousands of Chinese die from air-pollution-borne-diseases annually. It is also important to mention that “tests of the air quality of three hundred Chinese cities found that almost two-thirds fail to meet the standards set by the World Health Organization for acceptable levels of the fine particulates in the air that are the primary culprits in respiratory and pulmonary disease” (Shirk 33).
Air pollution in China has emerged as a menace for the country, and it is the need of the time to introduce improvements in emission controls, healthcare sector, and environmental degradation. One of the primary steps that must be taken in this regard is to bring about innovative and radical approach in policies related to transportation in the country (McGranahan & Murray 186). There is also a need to introduce public awareness programs about the air pollution and its negative consequences. The Chinese government must also develop a set of laws related to pollution and make its proper implementation certain. In China, electricity is mostly generated by burning coal. Therefore, it is exceedingly important to establish new power plants that may help in the minimization of the air pollution. There is also a need to change the energy consumption and production patterns. Other measures to reduce air pollution in China include introduction of cleaner fuel standards, use of electric vehicles, and restriction on the power plants’ construction near residential areas, urban planning improvement, and an increase of green spaces. To cut a long story short, China is threatened by air pollution gravely, and the country (both government and people) must devise and follow strict standards, practical laws and regulations, and substantial transportation program for reducing the impacts of air pollution.
The ecological and environmental sustainability is far more important than increasing economic growth blindly.
China: Air, Land, and Water: Environmental Priorities for a New Millennium. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001. Print.
Feng, Therese. Controlling Air Pollution in China: Risk Valuation and the Definition of Environmental Policy. Cheltenham, UK: E. Elgar, 1999. Print.
McGranahan, Gordon, and Frank Murray. Air Pollution and Health in Rapidly Developing Countries. London: Earthscan, 2003. Print.
Shirk, Susan L.. China: Fragile Superpower. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Wang, X, and D Mauzerall. "Evaluating Impacts Of Air Pollution In China On Public Health: Implications For Future Air Pollution And Energy Policies."Atmospheric Environment 40.9 (2006): 1706-1721. Print.