China’s capital Beijing is all set to get itself out of the world’s top 200 polluted cities list by the end of this year. In August, the concentration of most harmful smog particles declined at a surprising rate, according to data compiled by IQAir AirVisual showed on Thursday.
Post the data from the reports of Switzerland-based air quality technology company on pollution levels, Beijing is aiming to reduce the small, lung-damaging particulate matter known as PM2.5 by almost 20% by the end of this year, as compared to year 2018 and by almost a third from 2017.
Since 2014, the capital has been in a war with pollution and has worked to shut down and relocate polluting industries, improve fuel and emission standards and reduce coal consumption, not just for the city but also for the surrounding regions. According to recent reports, this year’s city air quality is still more than four times higher than the WHO annual mean PM2.5 concentration guideline of 10 micrograms per cubic meter, and also higher than China's own interim national standard of 35 micrograms.
However, Beijing’s pollution concentration for the first eight months of this year had an average hourly PM2.5 concentration reading of 42.6 micrograms, 19.3% lower than last year. After analyzing the figures, it was found out that these figures were less than half the average in the same period a decade ago, IQAir AirVisual said in a study of data from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as well as 34 official government monitoring stations.
The reports revealed that Beijing's average hourly PM2.5 concentration in August was 22.1 micrograms - the lowest monthly average since records began in April 2008. China has declared that it will adopt more efficient and targeted measures during its upcoming campaign against pollution in 2019, but will not relax its efforts or ease the crackdown on violators.
Beijing’s decision to restrict firework and fuel sales this month to ensure it minimizes air pollution during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on Oct. 1, has made its mark on global platforms, of its war against pollution.