A Familiar Problem
China holds a lot of records, it is the world’s most populous country, it has the world’s fastest train and it is the world’s largest polluter.
The Hebei province in particular, which produces 25% of China’s steel contains five of the ten smoggiest cities in China.
Figure 1: Smog over Chinese city.
China’s War on Pollution
China announced its war on pollution in March of 2014, and boasts significant progress since then, including:
- Reduction of fine particulates by an average of 32% in the first four years.
- Implementation of a national quality action plan.
- Shutting down coal mines.
Despite these efforts, the country remains one of the worst polluters in the world and has been for some time.
Rewards for Whistle-blowers
As of 1 September 2020, financial rewards will be available for whistle-blowers who uncover violations of China’s rules, as follows (reported by Reuters, see Reference 2):
- 100,000 Yuan (over 12,000 Euros) for exposing the dumping of waste that is radioactive/infectious/poisonous or for uncovering deliberate attempts by the polluter to evade detection.
- Up to 50,000 Yuan (over 6,000 Euros) for uncovering the illegal dumping of toxic heavy metals.
The air quality in the province of Hebei has improved a great deal in the last six years.
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Trip.com, Shanghai Maglev Train – The Fastest Train from PVG to Downtown Shanghai (https://www.trip.com/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-shanghai-maglev/) accessed August 2020.
World Population Review, Pollution by Country (https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/pollution-by-country) accessed August 2020.
Reuters (August 2020), Smog-prone Chinese province to offer big rewards for pollution whistleblowers (https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/pollution-by-country), accessed August 2020.
Greenstone, M (March 2018), Four Years After Declaring War on Pollution, China Is Winning (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/upshot/china-pollution-environment-longer-lives.html), The New York Times, accessed August 2020.