Beijing: China has progressed in controlling its pollution problem as the average density of PM2.5 particles in its three key economic regions has dropped dramatically in the first half of 2015, officials said.
In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta the average density of PM2.5 particles under 2.5 micrometers in size has dropped by 22 per cent, 16.2 per cent, and 20.5 per cent respectively, data released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) shows.
The PM2.5 level in Beijing alone dropped 15.2 per cent in the first half of 2015.
"The data shows that the government's efforts to curb pollution have had preliminary success and the air quality has improved," Li Zuojun, a deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council said.
"Industrial production has slowed down due to the economic downturn and many factories were shut down, lowering the pressure on the environment," Li said.
Aside from weather conditions, the influence of the economic downturn and the government's energy-saving and emissions reduction policy also contributed to the drop in the pollutant level, officials said.
In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the average density of PM10 particles, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide has dropped by 17.8 per cent, 27 per cent, and 11.8 per cent respectively.
The local governments in the three regions took measures to curb pollution, such as restricting vehicles that failed emissions standards and controlling the amount of dust from construction sites," Wei Fusheng, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering who specialises in air pollution control said.
Tianjin has retired 2,90,000 heavy emissions-causing vehicles as of July. Also, Beijing authorities vowed to shut down 1,200 factories by the end of next year.
"A series of laws and educational programs on environmental protection also helped curb air pollution," Wang Canfa, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law said.