Global Times Mobile

Although China has managed some improvement in its air quality since 2013, there are still air pollution problems, such as PM2.5, especially in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, said an air quality report for 2016 published on Wednesday.

The report was based on air data analyses of 30 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland, to provide a better understanding of China's air pollution as well as air quality improvements in 2016.

It comes from the Innovation Center for Clean-Air Solutions and the Environmental Protection Ministry's Center for Environmental Education and Communications, and was announced at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Chai Fahe, a leading atmospheric environment scientist at the Chinese Environmental Sciences Research Academy, said at the conference that one main source of air pollution is PM2.5, which needs to be dealt with in a precise, scientific way, at minimal costs.

The PM2.5 pollution problem has persisted in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and neighboring areas, especially in winter, when the use of heating reaches a peak, with the average concentration at least double normal standards, said the report. 

Jiang Kejun, of the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institutes, told the Global Times on Wednesday that most of the PM2.5 pollution comes from coal, which accounts for around 20 percent, and vehicle exhaust emissions, which contribute around 26 percent, in Beijing and neighboring areas.

However, overall the particulate matter situation improved in 2016, with 10 major provinces and cities reducing their PM2.5-pollution by 7.8 percent on average, according to the report.

The State Council came up with 10 rules on air pollution prevention and controls, back in 2013, with the idea of improving China's air quality in 5 years, according to its website.

The air quality report also covered other types of air pollution than PM2.5, noting that NO2 pollution saw a reduction in the country overall, but ozone pollution began to emerge in 2016, giving 14 provinces worse ozone pollution in 2016 than in 2015.

It also mentioned emission controls and air quality management, for example, how SO2, NOx, VOCs, NH3 and other greenhouse gas emissions have been controlled, along with specific measures, including the use of emissions permits, coal burning limits, clean-energy heating methods, and new-energy vehicles, among others.

By the end of 2016, there were more than 1 million new-energy vehicles on China's roads, accounting for almost 50 percent of global new-energy vehicle ownership, the report concluded.