A new study has revealed the staggering cost of China’s dependence on coal to power its economy: 670,000 deaths in one year alone.
The study, by Tsinghua University associate professor Teng Fei, lays bare the extent of the country’s pollution problem that is the darkest side effect of the country’s rapid growth over the last 20 years: over 70% of China’s 1.4 billion population are exposed to pollution levels above national regulatory norms, and over 10% are exposed to concentrations of harmful particles 10 times the level considered safe by the U.N.’s World Health Organization.
The study underlines how immediate and pressing pollution and public health issues are driving the discussion in China over industrial emissions, in contrast to considerations of long-term climate change prevalent in the West. It’s also a powerful reminder of why Beijing is trying to re-orient its economy away from energy-intensive, export-oriented manufacturing.
Coal, by far…
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