NOVEMBER 12TH 2015
HEATING SEASON START IN NE CHINA BRINGS POLLUTION LEVELS TO ALL TIME HIGH
Last weekend, many cities in the northeast corner of China (also known as Dongbei, or provinces Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang) found themselves imprisoned in impenetrable haze. Such days when it is not possible to see the sun, exercise or just open your windows are nothing unusual for residents in any of first-, second-, and third-tier cities in China. However, what people woke up to in the city of Shenyang exceeded even the most pessimist forecasts.
According to Xinhua news agency, some districts of this fast emerging city, which is in located in Liaoning province, had recorded PM 2.5 levels exceeding 1,400 (it is not unusual to experience levels up to 400-500 in China, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the safe level of PM 2.5 to be 25 micrograms over 24-hours). In addition, the national TV announced that visibility in the city was just 100 meters.
Dong Liansai, representative of Greenpeace’s Climate and Energy said the official Shenyang figure was the worst to have been recorded since air quality started to be monitored in China in 2013. Major factors of such alarming numbers is the excessive numbers of vehicles (especially diesel trucks), heavy industry and heat generating. The latter two factors are both fueled by coal – major obstacle in combating China’s pollution problem. Although, there are strong inclinations towards drastically cutting down the share of coal used, it is clear that such move would harm national economy’s growth. «If you do a little bit of reduction in coal-burning, you’ll reduce growth a little bit. If you do a big reduction, … you’ll hurt growth even further,» suggests Andy Roberts, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie.
Instead of reduction of coal volumes, the authorities should enforce that all of the required anti-pollution devices are properly in place in the coal burning facilities.Earlier this year, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a warning to coal-fired power plants that have charged higher prices to cover the cost of anti-pollution devices without actually using them.
In 2009, the NDRC raised electricity rates for industrial consumers to help power producers pay for «scrubbing» equipment to remove sulfur dioxide from their emissions. But the devices use more electricity, requiring more coal, tempting some power companies to save the expense. For years, environmental experts have argued that coal-fired generators have been operating with their pollution devices turned off and called for proper level of control, supervision and liability of the facility’s operators.
«Choking smog more than 50 times health guidelines blankets China», The Telegraph
«Less Coal and Better Air Quality: China’s New Normal?», Scientific American http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/less-coal-and-better-air-quality-china-s-new-normal/
«Beijing to Phase Out Coal», Triple Pundit
«Thick haze in China could be there for days, authorities warn», CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/10/asia/china-northeast-record-haze/
Annex Asia Publishing
Image: The Telegraph
Tags: Inspections China, Inspections Asia, Quality Control China, QC China, Quality Control Asia, QC Asia, Factories China, Laboratory testing China, Inspectors China, Factory Audit, Product inspection China, Product inspection Asia, Initial Production Inspection China, During Production Inspection China, Power Banks, Container Loading Inspection China, Inspection standards China, Inspections standards Asia, Inspections India, Quality Control India, QC India, Laptop Cooling Pads, Manufacturers China