By Echo Huang

In 2014, China’s premier Li Keqiang declared war on air pollution. With many cities routinely experiencing an “airpocalypse,” it was long overdue. At one point in 2013, a children’s hospital in Beijing was treating 7,000-plus patients a day for respiratory ailments. Researchers found that people’s lifespans could be shortened by more than five years in areas that relied heavily on coal, a major contributor of deadly air pollutants.

Four years later, China has made significant progress on fighting air pollution.

The nation’s air quality has improved so significantly in recent years that citizens can expect to see their lifespan increase by 2.4 years (pdf, p. 2) relative to 2013 levels, according to a report published yesterday (March 12) by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

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Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...