China has reduced air pollution in just seven years as much as the United States did in three whole decades.

Source: New China TV/Youtube

According to a new report, the number of harmful particulates in the air in China dropped 40 percent from 2013 to 2020. The report, published by the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, says that if China keeps this up, it could add about two years to the average life expectancy.

Although there are many parts of the country with smog and emissions that still exceed safe levels, the progress shows that massive countries are capable of reducing their emissions in a much shorter time than they say they can. The population in China is 1.402 billion, while the US population is only 329.5 million people.

According to researchers, 97 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where the air quality is worse than World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Air pollution reduces life expectancy more than cigarette smoking, alcohol, or poor sanitation.

“EPIC-China will take the established research and existing partnerships of UChicago faculty to the next level, building a wide ranging network of government partners and working to translate a deeper understanding of the structure and impacts of China’s energy system into actionable solutions for policymakers, resulting in a long-lasting, positive impact in China,” Professor Michael Greenstone said in the report.

China worked to reduce car use and coal burning in major cities, which has led to a massive decline in air pollution in just seven years. Beijing remains three times more polluted than Los Angeles, which is the smoggiest city in the United States. However, the national average for air particulates is six times higher than the WHO recommends.

Air pollution is an invisible killer and has been linked to so many diseases, including fatty liver disease, depression, and other mental health issues, and a study even found that nearly 6 million babies born prematurely in 2019 were likely linked to air pollution. Eating meat has been linked to a rise in air pollution, and factory farms are one of the biggest to blame for our dirty air. According to the WHO, an estimated 4.2 million people every year are killed from outdoor air pollution, and 99 percent of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits, with low and middle-income areas disproportionately affected. Check out these eco-artists that are using their art to call attention to the massive problem of air pollution and sign the petition to demand federal clean-up of disproportionately affected polluted areas in the United States.

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on the App Store. With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy!

Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!