Last month, Beijing issued red alert for poisonous levels of smog, which forced people not to move out of their homes. But still, the Chinese capital’s environmental authorities think last year’s air quality was better than 2014.
In an attempt to curb air pollution, China has been setting targets which may help in reducing toxic air. Municipal government of Beijing has ordered to use natural gas-powered facilities instead of coal-fired boilers. Adding to that, the department has strictly prohibited older, more polluting vehicles from entering the city roads.
Last year, Beijing’s average concentration of PM2.5 was more than 80 micrograms per cubic meter. Which means the drop from 2014 was 6%, while from 2013, the drop was 10%. Municipal environmental protection bureau of the city announced Monday, “The number of days of most serious PM2.5 pollution is falling each year”.
The new figures are still about twice the East Asian country’s 35 micrograms per cubic meter standard. It was about seven times higher than the standard set by the World Health Organization.
Municipal government also announced that levels of the pollutants have also fallen in 2015. Sulfur dioxide’s concentrations have dropped by 38%, while nitrogen dioxide fell more than 10%. The environmental protection bureau said coal-fired heating systems’ phase-out is responsible for the declining sulfur dioxide.
Beijing's air usually gets bad in the winter season. It is the time when the coal burning in northern China increases and weather patterns add to the smog.