In the News

January 12, 2019

Dramatic drop in Chinese air pollution boosts life expectancy quotes Michael Greenstone on the Chinese launch of AQLI at the Paulson Institute in Beijing.
Jay Birbeck

Almost five-years into the “war against pollution,” Chinese policymakers have made considerable progress in reducing levels of air pollution, according to findings released by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).

Using satellite data, the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) found that levels of small particulate air pollution across China were down 12 percent in 2016 compared to 2013 levels.

Overall, these findings amount to an additional six months in life expectancy for the average Chinese citizen. However, certain regions yielded even more dramatic results. Tianjin, one of China’s three most polluted citiesfor some time, saw particulate pollution drop by 14 percent in 2016. If sustained, this would mean a 1.2-year gain in life expectancy for the city’s inhabitants, compared with 2013. The results were most impressive in Henan province, where life expectancy increased by 1.3 years, due to a twenty percent reduction in particulate pollution.

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