Shanghai's PM2.5 density down 36% over 5 years
Shanghai saw cleaner air after sharp reductions in emissions of major pollutants during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
"Shanghai maintained growth in its population, economy and total energy consumption, but the emissions of major pollutants continuously declined and the ecological environment continuously improved," said Cheng Peng, head of the Shanghai municipal bureau of ecology and environment.
During the five years, the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in Shanghai dropped 46.6 percent and 28.2 percent respectively, exceeding the emission reduction targets set by the central government, said the official.
The city's average concentration of PM2.5 was 32 micrograms per cubic meter in 2020, 36 percent lower than the reading in 2015 and down from 35 micrograms per cubic meter in 2019.
The PM2.5 reading is a gauge monitoring airborne particles of 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which can penetrate deep into people's lungs.
Shanghai has also strictly controlled total coal consumption and helped promote the purchase of 364,000 new energy vehicles in the past five years. The proportion of coal in primary energy consumption dropped from 37 percent to about 31 percent.
Bai Guoqiang, chief engineer of the bureau, said Shanghai will continue to reduce PM2.5 and ozone concentrations by mainly reducing emissions in its energy, industrial and transportation sectors. Cities in the Yangtze River Delta will deepen cooperation to improve regional air quality, he said.
The city has also become greener, with the forest coverage rate reaching 18.49 percent and the wetland reaching 464,600 hectares by the end of 2020.
Between 2016-2020, Shanghai, with a population of more than 24 million, has built 20 important wildlife habitats, restored or built nearly 420 hectares of wetlands and wildlife habitats, and set up six wildlife sanctuaries.