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air quality

In China, a South-South Exchange Helps Countries Yearning for Clean and Efficient Heating Learn from Each Other

Yabei zhang's picture

Places with cold climates need access to a reliable and efficient heat supply for the health of their population. But in developing countries, the majority of rural and peri-urban households do not have access to centralized heating or gas networks. Instead, they use traditional heating stoves that use solid fuels like coal, wood, and dung for heating. These stoves are often inefficient (with thermal efficiency as low as 25%-40% compared to 70% or above for efficient stoves) and emit large amounts of pollutants (e.g., CO and PM2.5), causing indoor and outdoor air pollution with negative health and environmental impacts.

2010: Continued support in the midst of snow and smoke

Badamchimeg Dondog's picture
Also available in: Mongolian
As we continue with our stories of 25 years in 25 days, today we bring 2010 under the spotlight. My very first thought of 2010 brings me back to sunny and hot Brisbane, Australia where I studied at the time for a graduate degree. In early January that year, after completing my first year of studies, I decided to come home for a quick visit just in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations. As I stood at the Brisbane International Airport, still in a light T-shirt, I did not realize how much I was underestimating the warnings my parents had given me, repeatedly, regarding the snow and smoke situation back home. Coming from the heat and humidity down under, when I landed in UB I experienced a 60 degree Celsius temperature difference as that winter was exceptionally cold with heavy snow and sharp temperature drops (below minus 40 degrees Celsius) in most parts of the country. And the smoke made me continuously wonder if I had forgotten so quickly how bad it was though I had left for Australia only a year earlier. Many others had similar reflections, including Mr. Arshad Sayed, the World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia at the time, who blogged about the terrible dzud we experienced that winter in rural parts of the country and the air pollution situation in the nation’s capital.

2010: Зудын хохирлыг арилгах, утаатай тэмцэхэд дэмжлэгээ үргэлжлүүлсээр

Badamchimeg Dondog's picture
Also available in: English

Албан бус орчуулга.

25 жилийн түүхээ 25 өдөрт багтаан бичиж байгаа аяныхаа хүрээнд өнөөдөр 2010 оны онцлох үйл явдлуудыг эргэн саная. 2010 оныг эргэн дурсахад над хамгийн түрүүнд нарлаг, халуун Австралийн Брисбан санаанд орж байна. Брисбанд би суралцаж, бакалаврын боловсрол эзэмшсэн билээ. 2010 оны эхээр Цагаан сарын амралтыг ашиглан гэртээ түргэхэн харьчихаад ирэхээр шийдсэн. Брисбаны олон улсын онгоцны буудалд богино ханцуйтай нимгэн цамцтай буухдаа цас болон утааны нөхцөл байдлын талаар эцэг эхийн над өгч байсан зөвлөгөөг тоомсорлоогүй явсанаа ойлгосон. Халуун, чийглэг уур амьсгалтай газраас Улаанбаатарт газардахдаа цельсийн 60 хэмийн зөрөөг мэдэрсэн. Тэр өвөл үнэхээр хүйтэн байж, цас их унаж, Монголын газар нутгийн ихэнх хэсэгт агаарын хэм цельсийн 40 хэм хүрч байлаа. Утааны асуудал намайг зовоосоор байсан ч энэ бол муу зүйл гэдгийг ийм амархан мартсандаа гайхсан. Бусад хүн ч мөн над шиг зүйлийг мэдэрсэн байсан. Тухайлбал, тухайн үед Дэлхийн Банкны суурин төлөөлөгчөөр ажиллаж байсан  Аршад Саед. Тэрбээр  зудын гамшгийн тухай блогтоо бичиж байсан бөгөөд бид хамтдаа Монголын алслагдсан аймгуудын хахир өвлийг мөн нийслэл хотын агаарын бохирдлыг мэдэрч байсан.

Call for a green China: permanent improvement, with room for more

David Dollar's picture

Children perform during "Call for Green China" – a unique cultural tour to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues in China and possible solutions.
The old people in the park are saying that this was the best April in 20-plus years in terms of air quality here in Beijing. There has been permanent improvement based on some of the changes made for the Olympics: some factories relocated to less populous areas, restrictions on private car use, improved public transportation as an alternative.

Other factors are more long term – the sandstorms common when I lived here in 1986 are largely gone, owing to successful re-greening efforts west of here. There was a frenzied pace of construction as modern Beijing was being built, which has naturally slowed down – construction dust was a key part of air pollution here.

There is more room for improvement, but the progress was notable during a lovely April. One key issue going forward will be to continue to control private vehicle use.