Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in China: An unsustainable situation in search of a solution
Each year air pollution in China claims hundreds of thousands of lives. The root cause is an economy dependent on coal and heavy industry in combination with continued emissions from inefficient household stoves in hundreds of millions of homes and from open burning of crop waste in the field. The dependency on coal is also the reason why China emits far more CO2 than any other nation. The Chinese central government is aware of the problems and has set reasonably ambitious targets for air quality. There is significant progress in terms of introducing abatement technologies. The progress in reducing coal dependency is less obvious and moreover, the government hesitates to use effective policies.