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China pollution down leading to improved lifespans

Words by Tess Becker

As countries begin attacking pollution and the climate crisis in their own ways, China is seeing massive results.

China’s capital used to be covered in dense smog and was so polluted that people were coming down with illness. 

Nearly ten years later China’s pollution levels in 2021 fell 42% since 2013, thanks to a multibillion-dollar “war against pollution” . 

That progress has led directly to a 2.2-year improvement in the lifespan of people in China. 

The annual Air Quality Life Index report, produced by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, praised China’s “staggering success in combating pollution.”

Pollution levels globally have fallen slightly from 2013 to 2021 – which the report said was “entirely due to China’s progress.”

Since 2014 the Chinese government has limited the number of cars on roads in major cities, banned new coal plants from the most-polluted areas, cut emissions or closed existing plants, and reduced high-polluting industrial activity such as the manufacturing of iron and steel.

“At the foundation of those actions were common elements: political will and resources, both human and financial, that reinforced each other,” a report said. “When the public and policymakers have these tools, action becomes much more likely.”

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more

Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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