Uphill War to End Pollution in China

In 2017, National Geographic reported, “More than a million people are thought to die a year from air pollution in China, but now the country is fighting back with innovative solutions.”

“Three years ago, at the Communist Party’s annual congress, Premier Li Keqiang declared war on air pollution in China. At the party congress this past March, he renewed his vow ‘to make our skies blue again.”’ Among Li’s main weapons: Reducing the production of steel and of coal-fired electricity. To replace coal, China is rolling out the world’s biggest investment in wind and solar power.”

The result: a year later, DW Made for minds reports “Over half of world’s new solar capacity is in China.” … “Despite being the largest investor in renewable energy, China has faced an uphill battle transitioning from coal, which is used to generate roughly three-quarters of its power, according to the International Energy Agency. China burns more coal than any other country worldwide and bears the title of top greenhouse gas emitter.

“Still, the country (China) is seen as a potential leader in the fight against climate change after US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Paris accord struck in 2015.”

What else is China doing? “In the recent decades, many efforts have been made by the coastal scientists and engineers for the explosion of tidal stream energy in China, as tidal stream energy is considered as one of most promising resources of marine renewable energy.”

CNBC reports “From China to Brazil, these are the world titans of wind power … China maintained its position as a wind energy powerhouse, installing 19.7 GW, while the European Union added 15.6 GW of capacity. The U.S. installed a little over 7 GW of capacity.” … China as the “driver of global market growth for most of the last decade.” The “largest overall market for wind power since 2009,” … more than double any other market.”

The New York Times reports, “China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity. … China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation …”

In addition, the South China Morning Post says, China pips US in race to start the world’s first meltdown-proof nuclear power plant. China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction, more than any other country on earth.” … “Compared with current technology, the AP1000 reactor is theoretically 100 times safer, requires 80 per cent less piping, 85 per cent fewer control cables, and need a third fewer pumps.”

Compared to China’s efforts, what is the United States doing to clean up its environment?  The New York Times reports, “Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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