May 24, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Pollution in China

Aug 27, 2015 08:56 PM EDT

The increasing death toll of people in China due to air pollution is wearisome especially to its officials who acknowledged this as a crisis. Reports revealed an estimated 1.6 million deaths every year, which is about 17% of the cases reported and kills nearly 4400 individuals every single day.

Air pollution is a problem people tend to neglect. Its continuous build up would eventually lead to serious complications and detrimental diseases like asthma, lung cancer, and heart attack. Coal provides about 80% of the country's electricity, thus making it as the chief contributing factor of air pollution in China. For this reason, beating air pollution without reducing coal usage is next to impossible.

While officials boast on the success of their anti-poverty goal, they admitted the imbalance of choosing rapid urbanization and development over environmental issues and concerns. That being so, their eyes are keener on beating this dilemma. In fact, Premier Li Keqiang committed to starting a "war on pollution."

The government is carrying out intensive solutions. For instance, in Beijing, the capital city of China, big coal-powered stations are set to shut down by the end of the year. In addition, a law, known as Environmental Protection Law of 2015, which allows private organizations to report cases against polluting companies, has been promulgated last January. Citizens, on the other hand, were also mobilized to help combat air contamination.

The Greenpeace organization, an independent global campaigning organization, has given a few suggestions to tackle the issue: cap regional coal consumption, hike up pollution discharging charges and strengthen supervision efforts, and shut down inefficient coal-fired industrial boilers. These and other recommendations can be found on their website http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/air-pollution/solutions/.

The government admitted that this is not an easy task, but the people are empowered to lend a hand. But of course, the ultimate solution to this problem is to treat the root cause. China should, therefore, change its development model to cater this environmental issue.

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