China has banned the expulsion of “wash water” which used to remove hazardous chemical from ships starting 1st January 2019. This is part of its strategy to cut pollution in coastal areas. The ban will not expand to all of China’s waters because of the cost it was place on the shipping industry. This restriction is alongside tighter restrictions on sulphur and nitrogen oxide emission from ships in coastal areas.
According to Chinese Universities, Hong Kong’s air quality is usually higher under El Niño conditions as the associated weather tend to disperse pollutants. Figures from the Hong Kong Observatory said surface temperatures over the Pacific was above normal between November and December, contributing to a warmer than expected Christmas. Is this down to climate change?
A Chinese and American study hints that by reducing the most harmful particles in the atmosphere, this may also bring negatives alongside the positives. It has been highlighted through research that there is a link between a fall in PM2.5 levels and the rise in ground level ozone pollution and this in term can reduce crop yields.
Air pollution in Henan province worsens in December 2018, while the rest of country sees an improvement. The cities in the region reported a 12% rise in harmful chemicals in the air compared to 2017. The weather was blamed for increase.
China’s water quality upgraded in 2018 with many lakes and rivers now considered to be fit for human use. Most region’s water quality improved but some regions such as Liao and Songhua were even more polluted than in 2017.
Another positive step in China’s fight against pollution is through the country’s initiative against highly polluting diesel trucks; this is either by enforcing tougher fuel and engine standards, according to new guidelines. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the number of diesel trucks capable of meeting emission standards by 2020 would increase whilst promising to improve the quality of diesel.
China’s capital Beijing and its surrounding province cut pollution by 12% in 2018. This follows a regional crackdown on household coal burning, among other initiatives. The city’s air quality is still higher than the country’s recommended level. 79 other cities have also faced pollution restrictions this winter.
China will impose tougher regulations on fuel engine standards in an effort to tackle the use of diesel trucks. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment said that the department aims to have a 90% compliance rate by 2020.