Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

China Warns Of Five-Fold Increase In Air Pollution In 15 Years

File image of a dense blanket of polluted air hovering over central eastern China. The 'Giant Brown Cloud' is an unhealthy mix of ozone, smoke, and other particles from human activities. Credit: NASA/Orbimage.
Beijing (AFP) Oct 24, 2005
China's rapid economic growth and industrialization is posing a major challenge to the environment with air pollution likely to rise five-fold in 15 years, officials warned Monday.

"In the future 15 years, the population of China will reach 1.46 billion and the GDP will double, the pollution load will increase by four to five times according to the present resource consumption rate and pollution control level," said Zhang Lijun, vice minister of China's environmental agency SEPA.

Zhang was speaking at an air pollution conference organized by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the US Environmental Protection Agency, the environmental directorate of the European Commission and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory.

China's GDP growth of more than nine percent is causing more pollutants to be emitted, as more coal is burned for energy and more polluting factories are built, experts at the conference said.

A list of the world's most polluted cities includes several in China. Thirty percent of China is polluted by acid rain, Zhang said in a speech, while one fifth of the population is living in areas seriously polluted, including by dust, acid rain, smog and fine particles.

"The major challenge in China is that they have a fast growing economy, a lot of construction of power plants and use of energy," said Matti Vainio, deputy head of the European Commission's clean air and transport unit.

"Because of this, the emissions, potential emissions are huge," he said.

"In just five years, the emissions of one type of pollutant, sulfur dioxide, rose from about 20 million tons a year in 2000 to the current 26 million tons." Worsening air in China, especially in major cities, is leading to "more and more serious" health problems, including respiratory and lung illnesses, Zhang said.

"It's very important to get those numbers down," Vainio said.

"So the challenge is basically how to manage this prosperous economic growth, and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of the growth," he said.

China has already taken steps to reduce this future impact with a plan for economic growth between 2006-2010 placing a strong emphasis on minimal harm to the environment, a SEPA official said.

"There will be significant changes because of the five-year plan," Li Xinmin, deputy director-general of SEPA's pollution control department told AFP adding that the country could not continue down the path of "polluting first and cleaning up later". Chinese officials said China was toughening laws and adopting measures to reduce factory and vehicle pollution while SEPA planned to publish a list of cities that did not meet national air quality standards.

All rights reserved. 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

Related Links
Search TerraDaily
Subscribe To TerraDaily Express

Acid Rain And Forest Mass: Another Perspective
Bilbao, Basque region (SPX) Oct 14, 2005
A few years ago the study of the effects of atmospheric deposition on forest ecosystems reached beyond the scientific sphere and the term "acid rain" was coined.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.