New Regulations Announced To Tackle Toxic Smog In China

Environmental pollution, particularly, air pollution is a critical issue that has been rising especially since the industrial revolution period. As more economically developing countries are emerging throughout the years, pollution also complies with this advancement. Smog, in scientific terms, “is a yellowish or blackish fog formed mainly by a mixture of pollutants in the atmosphere which consists of fine particles and ground level ozone.” All of the industrial wastes directly released into the air, such as by gasoline and diesel-run vehicles, and industrial plants are main causes of smog production. China has been main suffers from smog and, in 2014, the Chinese Government even declared a “war on pollution.”

However, smog pollution has been increasing throughout the years, with little reduction. The amount of air pollution measured in Beijing in 2015, was eight times more than what is recommended by the World Health Organization. Smog does not only affect a certain area, it has the capacity to travel with the wind, thereby impacting other countries or cities nearby. Countries, such as Korea are being severely affected by the smog. An increasing number of Chinese citizens have been protesting and complaining about the poor pollution regulations in order to lessen and, ultimately, to prevent this deadly air pollution.

On the first week of 2017, a new law enforcement has been announced. “Beijing will create an environmental police force aimed at tackling deadly smog.” New police guards will patrol the streets and punish anyone that violates the safety regulations. Additionally, as said by the Mayor Cai Qi, “Beijing will also shut its last coal-fired power plant and reduce coal consumption by 30% this year. Officials will shut 500 factories and 300,000 older vehicles will be taken off the road.”  

The biggest challenge lies in the environmental protection and business perspective. Many industrial plants still use unclean energy mix[es], and the whole structure will have to be changed and much improvised in order to efficiently lessen the pollution. Smog can be significantly reduced with social awareness and strict regulations actually being implanted. Thousands are frustrated with their restricted living lifestyle. Some have voiced moving away from their city because they cannot go outside anymore. Hopefully, 2017, will be a year where significant actions are taken to reduce smogs and for everyone to be aware of the health risks that are caused by the pollution, as no one can escape air pollution.

Jisue Shin
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