Research Papers

China’s Environmental Crisis

China is one of the largest countries in the world. Not just in landmass, but also with the population. The driving issue with a large population is pollution. Pollution is not only harmful to humans, but also the natural world. This includes animals, bodies of water, and even the very air integral to everyone’s survival. China has set itself a precedent of destruction and disregard for the human race’ and the planet.

China has suffered environmental issues for centuries. Back in the dynastic days, rulers would horde many of China’s plentiful natural resources and use them to promote economic growth over ecological preservation. Issues with China’s environment only recently became seriously noticed in 1972, at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference). It was a revolutionary meeting because the conference was the first major international environmental gathering and made the environment important to countries around the world. Now with most major powers in the world focusing on the climate, China was pressured to create environmental institutions in an attempt to halt their drastic climate damage. Chinese clear omission of this led many countries to criticize and disapprove of China. Yet despite all of this, China’s institutions failed for the most part, and laws were passed encouraging economic development over the environment. The problem worsened Chinese leader of the time, Deng Xiaoping, passed more power to provinces and local governments. These provincial governments were called township and village enterprises (TVEs). TVEs made up a third of China’s annual GDP and thus were integral to China’s growing economy. The reason for their success was these groups focused deliberately on the economy over the environment, and since the TVEs have little federal overview, they got away with many terrible acts against the environment.

China has undergone a vast amount of environmental degradation in the past thirty years. Issues like desertification (people require a great deal of farmland to be fed, so forest were cut down in bulk), lack of biodiversity (lots of poaching against animals like tigers and shark), and steep population growth (lots of people need lots of resources like cars, energy, food, etc.). Despite the numerous problems China faces, these are little compared to China’s air pollution and water contamination.

Air quality has been a well-known and little addressed environmental issue throughout China’s cities. This severely affects the highly populated urban centers of China like Beijing, the nation’s capital. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has yet to effectively deal with this causing anger among the millions of residents young and old who suffer and some call it “an air pollution catastrophe.” The Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality scale is a form of rating of air quality using numbers. A score of 300 or more is very dangerous. In Beijing, there was a time where the air was worse than a 300 score. Reports claim 500 is no longer an unusual rating, and the highest reporting has been upwards of 886. China’s massive manufacturing industry is partially blamed because of all the factories releasing chemicals into the air near densely populated areas. A report from the World Bank estimates that 1% of the 560 million people in China living in cities breathe safe air by EU measurements. Gas-powered cars are also a significant contributor to air quality because so many are in use at a given time. Estimates suggest cars produce about 12% of China’s air pollution. The most magnanimous part though is the energy production industry. China burns a lot of coal which is extremely cheap and relatively effective, but horrendous for the environment and the air. China’s coal-burning produces 58% or more of its energy. This scale of burning releases incredible amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

China’s water pollution is just as bad as its air. Although water pollution is a considerable issue for China, it is not as palpable as air pollution making it more difficult to quantify. But still some studies have shown half of China’s surface water is so contaminated that it cannot even be treated to be safely consumable. Another study shows that a quarter is unable to be used for industrial purposes. The underground water supply in China is worse with 90% being somewhat polluted. 50% of China’s population cannot find or use clean water and 60% of the rural population consistently rely on dangerously tainted water. Water pollution is widely ignored by the CCP and outside countries because it is not as visible as air pollution. The widespread pollution is from unchecked factories pouring their excess waste into neighboring rivers and lakes and fertilizer used in farms which mix with the underground water. Another startling percentage from China Water risk says, “…while being home to roughly 20% of the world’s population, China only has 7 percent of the world’s fresh water reserves.” Water pollution should be a key issue for the CCP, but not enough is yet known or released to the public to understand it for sure.
The overarching reason for China’s rampant pollution is its rapid industrialization. As mentioned earlier, the Chinese government focused primarily on economic growth to keep up with the western powers. This led to a hundred years of revolution in only thirty years time. China’s rapid industrialization was not all bad as it pulled 600 million Chinese out of poverty. The GDP also increased by 540% (150 billion dollars (1978) to 8,227 billion dollars (2012)). China demonstrated remarkable economic prowess after years of turmoil (Ten Lost Years). The cause that allowed China to achieve this is its immense population (“…the contribution of labor to GDP growth is decreasing. It contributed 1.4 percentage points of GDP growth in 1979-1989, 0.5 percentage points in 1990-2002, and 0.3 percentage points in 2003-2012.”) and an increase in capital accumulation (“Capital accumulation accounted for 6.9 percentage points of the 10.5 percent average annual increase in GDP in the last decade, 5.7 percentage points of the 10.1 percent average annual increase in GDP in 1990 to 2002, and 7.2 percentage points of the 9.7 percent average annual increase in GDP in 1979 to 1989.”). The one-child policy that was instituted in the later years of China’s industrialization critically slowed this advantage because fewer children were being born while the former working-class retired, creating an imbalance. China is also a country in which almost everything is dependent on the CCP. This was evident during the 2008 recession. The government invested four trillion dollars into China’s economy to keep it afloat and it worked. But this kind of funding and hand-holding is unsustainable. It requires too much money and companies become reliant on government backing. China’s rapid industrialization had many benefits to its population and economy, but was unchecked and moved too fast which provided many cracks like environmental issues and independent economic recovery.

Air pollution is mostly created in China by massive coal burning plants and affects people living near them the most. The pollution is usually formed by a combination of solid particles like soot and gases like carbon dioxide. Both are byproducts of coal factories. A specific kind of air pollution which is prevalent in China is called smog. Smog is a particularly dangerous kind of air pollution and is especially harmful to people with pre-existing repository issues. It is formed by a certain gas (usually in cities) called Ozone. Ozone is made by sunlight reacting with another gas called Nitrogen Oxide. Smog is usually found in big cities and appears as smoke and is very hazy.

Air pollution like smog can cause many health problems to humans in hazardous conditions. Extended time in heavily polluted areas will cause many serious issues all over the body. The most obvious group of organs at risk are the respiratory system.Breathing in polluted air irritates airways from your nose and mouth and this causes muscles constrict around airways. Too much mucus is produced and the airways begin to swell. It can be compared to an asthma attack. Polluted air makes infections worse, lungs weaker, and smaller airways so less air coming into the body, this hampers the lungs ability to filter air, so the effects only worsen over time. Some common diseases and issues located in the respiratory area from air pollution are frequent asthma attacks, more infections in the throat, decreased airflow, excess mucous, and lung cancer.

Figure 1

While the lungs get most of the attention when pondering air pollution health complications, the heart is at risk as well. It is highly susceptible to damage from pollution because after polluted air is put into blood from lungs, the blood gets pumped into the heart. The contaminated blood can lead to irregular heartbeats which makes plaque fall off the walls of veins and build up blocking proper blood flow. Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), heart attacks, systemic inflammation, and blood clots are all typical from exposure to air pollution.

Figure 2

Following the heart, the brain is next to experience the impact of air pollution. The quality of blood flow from unhealthy heart and blood clots damages the brain. Polluted blood gets directly into the brain and can induce mental difficulties like anxiety and headaches. Tiny particles of air pollution that enters the brain through the nose or eyes can be linked to dementia (unsure about direct connection) and damages cognitive functions. Strokes, headaches, anxiety, reduced IQ, and behavioral problems are all brain issues stemming from air pollution.

Figure 3

While everyone in polluted districts is at risk, pregnant women, children, and the elderly are most likely to develop more demanding symptoms. Polluted blood causes systemic inflammation and may trigger labor or affect baby development. There is another uncertain link to autism theorised to be from systemic inflammation. Babies born could expect a preterm birth, low birth weight, and systemic inflammation themselves. Children have also been at a particularly high risk from air pollution. Some say it is because children are outside more and breathe faster than adults meaning more polluted air enters their system. Children also have developing lungs which makes them more sensitive to pollution than an adult. The elderly are endangered by air pollution because their aging body is unable to fight back the pollutants. This could trigger pre-existing conditions to act up.

Figure 4

Air pollution effects on health have been studied for years. Although we understand how air pollution is made and the way it interacts with the human body and the environment, little has been done to handle it. One specific case study that adeptly conveys China’s obstinance from auspicious dealing with pollution are called “cancer towns”. There are 459 recorded instances of this spanning from almost every province in China’s mainland. Studies say that residents of these towns are more likely to develop diseases like cancer than national and global standards. Most cases are in close proximity to expansive coal burning plants most likely produces alarming rates of air pollution. Cancer rates in China have in general risen by an estimated 80% in the past 30 years not just from these cancer towns, but an overall increase in frequency from pollution. Coincidentally those were the thirty years China began to pollute more than it had ever. Cancer towns however are still not being dealt with and many local officials repeatedly deny their very existence. While the local governments who are causing these catastrophes reject evidence, the federal government is beginning to concede and admit to. In fact, the Ministry of Environmental Protection mentioned cancer villages in its latest five-year plan. Many environmental activists say this a considerable step, but the initial problem remains. Cancer towns represent China’s recklessness with their environment as it is a cancer hazard to live in a particular residential district.

China has endured other travesties like cancer towns. Experts claim that 1.6 million deaths or 17% of yearly Chinese deaths are caused by pollution of many varieties. Another place where pollution is pervasive is in Northern China. “Researchers with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) said average lifespans north of the Huai river, where China supplies mostly coal-fired winter heat, were 3.1 years lower than in the south, which is not covered by the state heating policy. EPIC’s study cites long-term smog exposure as a primary cause of the difference.” The very thing that was intended to benefit the people ended up killing them. Moreover, the same study saw that 10 micrograms per cubic meter of additional long-term exposure to smog reduces life expectancy by 0.6 year and the national average is 35 micrograms. This research was conducted in 154 cities from 2004 to 2012 all over the country,but anomalies were found mostly in the mentioned zones. Concerned citizens have said, “If a decrease in life expectancy is the consequence of rapid superficial industrial growth, then what is the point?” A vast amount of deaths were cardiorespiratory illnesses which come directly from air pollution.

China has earned the title as the most polluted nation in the world. 22 out of the 50 most polluted cities in the world are within China’s borders. China also produces the most carbon dioxide out of every single country combined. They surpassed the United States in 2006. The exact measurements in past years have shown this gap. An article from the news website USA Today states that in 2017, the U.S. produced 5,269.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide while china produced 9,838.8 million metric tons. The difference between the two is almost unquantifiable. But when the data is looked at, American citizens produced 16.2 metric tons per person and Chinese citizens produced half that at (7.1 tons per person). So the numbers offset each other.

Figure 5

China’s impact on climate change has been revolutionary as well. An organization named Carbon Brief, is dedicated to spreading knowledge and awareness about carbon emission from all countries, suggesting China is responsible for 10% of all climate change. This is astounding becausing China has been involved in releasing emission for a fraction of the time of other western countries. Their contributions have tripled over the past thirty years in which China has been industrializing. China was a relatively insignificant emitter until this phase when they entered their industrial era. Even though their additions to global warming are great, they would be noticeably more intense if it were not for their high aerosol count. Many kinds of aerosols absorb sunlight which prevents the heat from even entering the inner atmosphere. China produces a mind boggling amount of these as well, “China is responsible for 28% of the sulphate currently in the atmosphere, 24% of nitrate aerosols and 14% of black carbon.” Regrettably for China, though, the aerosols are key factors to air pollution. They are so bad that the U.S. and the E.U. are both trying to limit the number of aerosols China can produce because of their effects on health. But downside to these potential sanctions is global temperature will rise considerably. Professor Dominick Spracklen, an associate professor of aerosols and climate at the University of Leeds, makes the statement that, “This means that it will be difficult to achieve rapid reductions in near-term global warming through the control of Chinese air pollutants overall — a focus on greenhouse-gas emissions, in particular, will be required.” In conclusion China is in a predicament as the only way to lower their climate change benefaction is to reduce strictly greenhouse gases, before focusing on aerosols and air pollution.

Figure 6

The reason China has not already made the speedy switch many other countries are making now to greener energy sources is of its gargantuan coal industry.. China is by far the largest coal importer and consumer in the world meaning it would be crippling to China’s energy grid and the coal world trade if they cut out all coal. There is also a logic to why China commenced and continues to use coal. Coal is cheap and easy to use, so the perfect kick start for their rapid industrialization phase. And China has now built up a dependence on it where hundreds of millions rely on coal burning as a stable energy source. If a switch is to ever come, it will take decades of preparation (building infrastructure) and slow phasing out. It would also take billions or even hundreds of billions of dollars to redirect its population. The coal industry in China will also probably never leave as it is so integral to the functioning of the Republic.

Although the government has been moderately secretive about climate issues they have spent ample sums of money on it. The main incentive for CCP to do this is to keep both their citizens content and in line,but also to please other countries. In 2018 the Chinese government released that it spent an estimated 255.5 billion yuan (37.15 billion U.S. dollars) on it. They also planned to upgrade all of their coal plants to be more to be “ultra-supercritical” plants.This means the factories will be more efficient and emit less. The Center for American Progress says that by 2020, “every coal plant operating in the United States would be illegal to operate in China,” because of emissions laws, but this is unlikely as China is the one who usually fails to meet these guidelines. China is also enacting a plan to use natural gas as an energy source. Natural gas emits 60% less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while being processed. China’s dedication is shown by the fact that it is the third biggest consumer of natural gas in the world (America is first). China has invested in liquid natural gas as well and is the second biggest importer for liquid natural gas on the planet. Liquid gas is far better at being condensed so easier transportation and storage than normal natural gas. A substantial way China could impact its environmental footprint is by converting many houses which actively use coal to consuming natural gas instead. A main way China is getting this is by buying a lot of liquid natural gas from the U.S. Doing this both allows China to have more gas, but also it can balance the trade surplus between the two countries. Very unlike how China normally behaves, tried to spread a little awareness and support for the environment. They have events like “Annual Nationwide Energy-Saving Publicity Week” or “Nationwide Decrease Carbon Day” to accomplish this. As well as spreading knowledge and converting from coal, restrictions on cars with fuel consumption deficiency have been suspended as to reduce car emissions which contribute much to China’s pollution. By doing this they also encourage electric cars which also have no emissions. China is the current biggest market for electric vehicles with 2.3 million being used daily. Carbon dioxide is the most blamed and one of the most influential gases to global warming, but many other gases also have similar negative effects. China has put forth plans to deal with other less known gases like methane which, “traps 25x more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide” and nitrous oxide, “one pound of nitrous oxide has 300 times the warming effect of one pound of carbon dioxide.” China and the CCP are almost as careless with these gases in the past as with carbon as they contributed 16.2 percent of global methane emissions (1.6 billion tons) and 14.5 percent of nitrous oxide emissions (410 million tons) in 2018. China has entered a few environmental protection agreements like the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and the Paris Climate Agreement. And now since their long-lasting commitment, China says they are in a position of leadership for global environmental protection. President Xi Jinping emphasizes this further by saying China is now ready to be“guiding international cooperation to respond to climate change.” What China is currently doing to quell their environmental footprint can be concisely summarized in a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Widespread use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, including plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), can reduce our national dependence on petroleum and decrease the emissions that impact our air quality and public health.”

China has set forth many ambitious goals over the past few years. Many of them seem outlandish and unreasonable for a country the size of China to complete in such a narrow time period. Perhaps China’s most aggressive objective is to reach a net-zero status by 2060. Having net-zero emissions means absorbing more greenhouse gases than are put out. Only two countries have achieved this and they are Bhutan and Suriname. China plans to reach their peak emissions by 2030 and then slowly reduce from there. They have many procedures in place to make sure this happens. One of these is abolishing gas driving cars by 2035. Although this is unlikely, electric vehicles have become popular and China is as not impossible as it may seem. They also plan to be net zero for carbon dioxide by 2050. Carbon Dioxide emissions are the main driving force of climate change. One way China plans to accomplish this is switching almost all coal plants into clean energy sources. The numbers say China could make coal contribute only 5% of China’s power if they do it correctly. Other ways to reduce carbon while the change is happening is to bury the carbon underground or burn certain plants that make it difficult to locate carbon. After carbon China intends to be net-zero for all other gases like methane by 2060. Reforestation should deal with the remaining gas experts say. Environment and pollution advisers say China should take a less aggressive path until 2030 then cut emissions by 10% every year after that, “the rate of emissions reduction starting to increase after 2030 would actually be in response to China taking more forceful action from 2020 to 2030, but the result of these actions will be clearer after 2030,” reports Chen Ji, a principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Beijing who studied China’s long-term decarbonization. This all will prove very arduous, but beneficial to both the planet and China’s citizens.

China is in a dire situation. This issue was primarily caused by China supporting and nurturing its economy over its environment and by extension, pollution levels. But lately China has been acknowledging and taking responsibility for this declining environment and the effects it is having on people living in the country. An environmental lawyer named Wang Canfa puts it well, “it shows that this issue, of environmental pollution leading to health damages, has drawn attention.”
A clear example that China has the potential to succeed and save itself is the Covid 19 crisis. Despite all the misery the pandemic has caused, the epidemic proved to be one of the least damaging periods to public health from pollution. Air pollution particles called PM2.5 (tiny particles under 2.5 micrometers) fell by 10.8%. This had an enormous impact on China’s air quality. The same study also showed only 33 micrograms of PM2.5 were found per a cubic meter of air compared to usual 35 micrograms. This is an impressive feat, but WHO (World Health Organization) recommends 10 micrograms as a safe amount. Some have theorized China’s pollution fell because of forced lockdowns and hampered car and industry activity (coal factories). Shortly after the lockdown China produced above average pollution in order to recover its economy, but during the lockdown there were a recorded 60,000 less pollution related deaths. It all shows that China has the ability to reduce their pollution and keep people healthier.

China has a long journey to make before it can reach many audacious goals. Past statistics have proven China to be a wasteful and exceedingly polluting country with millions having died due to incomprehensible negligence. Health effects are alarming and the environmental stability is unbalanced to say the least. Despite all of these negative comments, China has the resources, money, and manpower to overcome this adversity. They have a responsibility to their 1.3 billion citizens and the 7 billion other inhabitants of Earth to fix this. And if they cannot or will not, the entity of the world will pay the price.

Bibliography
Albert, Eleanor, and Beina Xu. “China’s Environmental Crisis.” Council on Foreign Relations, January 18, 2016. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-environmental-crisis#:~:text=It%20wasn%27t%20until%20the,was%20already%20in%20dire%20straits.
I used this journal resource by The Council of Foreign Relations which was helpful in understanding the history of environmental pollution in China. It was really important to the fundamental understanding and a few specifics about the foundation of China’s pollution.

Blokhin, Andriy. “The 5 Countries That Produce the Most Carbon Dioxide (CO2).” Investopedia.com. Last modified October 27, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/092915/5-countries-produce-most-carbon-dioxide-co2.asp.
Investopedia’s site listed all the most emitting countries in the world. From this website a gathered one fact about the percentage of power coal produced for China. This fact was contradicted by other sites though, so exact numbers were hard to find.

Carbon Brief. “REST OF WORLD EMISSIONS 17 March 2016 18:01 China is responsible for 10% of human influence on climate change, study says.” Carbonbrief.org. Last modified March 17, 2016. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://www.carbonbrief.org/china-is-responsible-for-10-of-human-influence-on-climate-change-study-says.
Carbon Brief is a website that strives to stop climate change while also spreading awareness about the topic. They gave valuable data on China’s individual contributions to climate change. They also informed me about aerosols, which truly makes the situation difficult for China. Carbon Brief is responsible for the graph as well.

China Mike. “China Facts | Energy, Environment and Pollution in China.” China Mike, October 8, 2020. Accessed December 29, 2020. https://www.china-mike.com/facts-about-china/facts-pollution-environment-energy/#:~:text=Pollution%20is%20blamed%20for%201.6,pollution%20levels%20in%20the%20country.
China Mike is some kind of travel guide to China. They gave a few facts about China’s carbon emissions and other things.

China Power. “How is China Managing its Greenhouse Gas Emissions?” Chinapower.csis.org. Last modified 2021. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://chinapower.csis.org/china-greenhouse-gas-emissions/#:~:text=Lessening%20the%20Emissions%20from%20Fossil,low%20emission%E2%80%9D%20standards%20by%202020.
China Power strives to understand and explain China and its complexities. They provided information on what the Chinese government is doing to manage pollution and their environmental impact. They also give a quote from Xi Jinping.

Delang, Claudio O. China’s Air Pollution Problems. New York, US: Routledge, 2016. Accessed January 10, 2021.
This book goes into depth about China’s air pollution problems. It provided a very concise quote about the very issue.

———. China’s Water Pollution Problems. New York, US: Routledge, 2016. Accessed January 10, 2021.
This book was about China’s various water issues. I used a quote from this book that gave another good stat about China’s water crisis.

Forbes. Forbes.com. Accessed December 31, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/01/23/air-pollution-chinese-and-american-cities-in-comparison-infographic/?sh=445dc80d2362.
This site only provided the graph.

Frohlich, Thomas C., and Liz Blossom. “These countries produce the most CO2 emissions.” USA Today (Tyonsons, VA), July 14, 2019. Accessed December 29, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/14/china-us-countries-that-produce-the-most-co-2-emissions/39548763/.
USA Today is a newspaper that covers topics from pollution to social media. This site helped me finish off a paragraph about China’s pollution versus the rest of the world.

Gibson, Carolyn. “WATER POLLUTION IN CHINA IS THE COUNTRY’S WORST ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE.” Borgen Project (blog). Accessed December 27, 2020. https://borgenproject.org/water-pollution-in-china/#:~:text=China%27s%20water%20supply%20has%20been,of%20China%27s%20cities%20is%20contaminated.
The Borgen Project was a site that explained how water pollution is the worst kind of pollution in China. I personally disagreed based on the research I had done, but certain facts from the site proved useful for talking about water pollution later.

Hart, Melanie, Luke Bassett, and Blaine Johnson. “Everything You Think You Know About Coal in China Is Wrong.” Center for American Progress, May 15, 2017. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2017/05/15/432141/everything-think-know-coal-china-wrong/.
The Center for American Progress is a newsletter out of Washington, D.C. They went into the part coal plays in China’s economy and the difficulty it would cause in phasing it out.

Hineman, Brinley. “Fact check: Electric vehicles emit fewer emissions and are better for the environment.” Fact Check. USA Today (Tysons, VA), October 17, 2020. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/17/fact-check-electric-cars-emit-less-better-environment/3671468001/.
USA Today is a newspaper. They gave specific data on the environmental impact of EVs and a quote.

Ide, Bill. “Share on Twitter Share via Email Print this page East Asia Pacific China Gets New Weapon in War on Pollution.” Voa News, December 28, 2016. Accessed January 10, 2021. https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/china-gets-new-weapon-war-pollution.
This site gave me the title picture.

Jun, Ma. The Economics of Air Pollution in China: Achieving Better and Cleaner Growth. New York, US: Columbia University Press, 2017. Accessed January 10, 2021.
This book gave a quote about how the actual Chinese people felt about air pollution.

Kaiman, Jonathan. “Inside China’s ‘cancer villages.'” The Guardian (London, England), June 4, 2013, uS edition. Accessed November 29, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/04/china-villages-cancer-deaths.
This website is a British daily newspaper. The article talked in depth about the cancer villages which China has become renowned for. It gives many facts and statistics about this strange byproduct of pollution and was a worthy case study.

Lallanilla, Marc. “China’s Top 6 Environmental Concerns.” Live Science, March 15, 2013. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.livescience.com/27862-china-environmental-problems.html.
This resource by Live Science helped me greatly while researching the specific causes of China’s pollution. It helped lay a good foundation for air pollution as well. This site also gave information on a few professional opinions on China’s progress and their current situation.

McCarthy, Simone. “Coronavirus: air pollution improved during China’s lockdowns – and it may have reduced hospital visits.” South China Morning Post (Hong Kong, China), October 9, 2020. Accessed December 31, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3104741/covid-19-air-pollution-improved-during-chinas-lockdowns-and-it.
The South China Morning Post is a newspaper company based in China. It only gave one fact about China’s Covid situation.

McGrath, Matt. “Climate change: China aims for ‘carbon neutrality by 2060.” BBC, September 22, 2020. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54256826#:~:text=China%20will%20aim%20to%20hit,President%20Xi%20Jinping%20has%20announced.
BBC is an international news outlet. They highlighted the years China wanted to accomplish certain goals.

Medline Plus. Air Pollution. January 8, 2021. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://medlineplus.gov/airpollution.html#:~:text=Air%20pollution%20is%20a%20mixture,pollution%2C%20it%27s%20also%20called%20smog.
MedlinePlus is a government website that focuses on medical things. The report I used talked briefly about the basics of air pollution and smog. I used both of these in the paper.

Moms Clean Air Force. “How Air Pollution Harms Your Body.” Momscleanairforce.org. Last modified July 1, 2017. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.momscleanairforce.org/how-pollution-harms-body/.
This site was more than useful when describing and researching the effects of air pollution on health. The website went into great depth on all body parts severely affected by air pollution like the lungs and the heart. The group seems to be some kind of organization that fights against air pollution. It also provided great graphs to show the specifics.

National Center For Biotechnology. Vehicle emission and atmospheric pollution in China: problems, progress, and prospects. By Jin Wang, Qiuxia Wu, Juan Liu, Hong Yang, Meiling Yin, Shili Chen, Peiyu Guo, Jiamen Ren, Xuwen Luo, Wensheng Linghu, and Qiong Huang. Edited by Xinfeng Wang. May 16, 2019. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6932.
This article by the National Center For Biotechnology provided a singular fact about car emission which bolstered the statement that cars were perilous to the enviroment.

National Geographic. “Smog.” National Geographic. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/smog/#:~:text=Photochemical%20smog%20is%20produced%20when,power%20plants%2C%20and%20factory%20emissions.&text=When%20sunlight%20hits%20these%20chemicals,%2Dlevel%20ozone%E2%80%94or%20smog.
National Geographic was very helpful to a small paragraph dedicated to smog. It helped me learn more about the causes like ozone and its deadly affects. National Geographic is a big company which covers all kinds of topics.

Nikkei Asia. “China plans to phase out conventional gas-burning cars by 2035.” Asia.nikkei.com. Accessed December 31, 2020. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Automobiles/China-plans-to-phase-out-conventional-gas-burning-cars-by-2035#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20new%2Denergy%20vehicles,new%20car%20sales%20in%20China.&text=The%20goals%20are%20to%20raise,and%20selling%20conventional%20gasoline%20vehicles.
This site is from Nikkei Asia. The material provided an interesting fact.

Pike, Lili. “How the world’s biggest emitter could be carbon neutral by 2050.” Vox.com. Last modified October 15, 2020. Accessed December 31, 2020. https://www.vox.com/2020/10/15/21516537/climate-change-china-xi-jinping-coal-carbon-neutral.
Vox is an American news website. They gave information on how China could potentially become net zero and the things they would have to do.

Purdy, Mark. “China’s Economy, in Six Charts.” Harvard Business Review, November 29, 2013. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://hbr.org/2013/11/chinas-economy-in-six-charts.
Harvard Business review explained China’s economy and the rapid industrialization which caused it. The site used six graphs to convey its message. I only utilized the parts in which related to China’s growing economy and the reasons for that.

Reuters Staff. “China air pollution falls 10.8% because of coronavirus slowdown.” Reuters.com, August 14, 2020. Accessed December 31, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution/china-air-pollution-falls-10-8-because-of-coronavirus-slowdown-idUSKCN25A16Q.
This website analyzed the effects that Covid had on the environment and the air quality of China.

Stanway, David. “Northern China smog cuts life expectancy by 3 years versus south: study.” Reuters, September 11, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution-health/northern-china-smog-cuts-life-expectancy-by-3-years-versus-south-study-idUSKCN1BM2F1.
Reuters is an international news organization that focuses on all kinds of topics. I used it to go into depth about a life discrepancy between the north and south in China. It offered plenty of well-researched opinions and facts, and it helped me build a good case study about it.

Sustainable Development. “United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference).” Sustainabledevelopment.un.org. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/milestones/humanenvironment.
This website by Sustainable Development provided many specifics about the Stockholm Conference which was the first major meeting about the environment. It was a minor source and contributed little to the overall paper and was there only for a few facts.

Virta.global. “The global electric vehicle market in 2020: statistics & forecasts.” Virta.global. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://www.virta.global/global-electric-vehicle-market#:~:text=In%20absolute%20terms%2C%20China%20remained,and%201.1%20million%20EVs%20respectively.
This website belongs to a company that is involved in the electric vehicle charging industry. They gave a few facts about EVs and their presence in China.

Xuequan, Mu, and Xinhua. “China spends big on pollution control, treatment in 2018.” Xinhua Net, June 26, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2020. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-06/26/c_138176209.htm#:~:text=The%20central%20government%20allocated%20about,said%20Wednesday%20while%20delivering%20the.
Xinhua Net is the biggest media organization in China and is state-run meaning potential bias could be located in articles found within the site. This site references the exact amount of money the government spent on pollution control.

Zeng, Za, and Joshua Eastin. Greening China. N.p.: University of Michigan Press, n.d.
This book summarizes many aspects of China. I used a fact about air pollution.

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