Amendment of Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution
China has suffered severe haze problem since 2013. The study shows that about 350,000 to 500,000 Chinese people die prematurely due to haze weather each year. 4,400 people are killed by haze weather every day and 1,600,000 people die every year from health issues caused by air pollution. Air quality index in many places of China was over 1000 µg/m3, 400 times more than safe value set by the World Health Organization. Severe haze weather has brought serious health problem, big inconvenience of work and life and economic loss to Chinese people including growing number of respiratory disease, increasing traffic accident rate and so forth. This memo provides detailed information on causes of haze problem in China and proposes 3 policy suggestions to further amend current Law of People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution. First, require the replacement of coal with natural gas for central heating in city area of Beijing and the replacement of coal with energy-saving electric heaters for heating in rural area of Beijing. Second, gradually substitute cleaner fuels (water, wind, nuclear) for coal to generate electricity and all coal-fired plants must install pollution-control equipment to reach national pollutant control standards. And for those polluting coal-fired plants who refuse to install pollution-control equipment, they will get from $50,000 to $3,000,000 fine according to the severity of the situation. Third, establish hotline telephone for reporting violations. These three measures will largely reduce the haze problem. Chinese government, enterprises and general public should work together to deal with haze weather, assume social responsibilities and undertake the cost of wrong economic development model in the past decades. We don’t have the right to only consume environment without protection and control. We don’t have the right to only complain about poor air quality without construction and change. We have the responsibility to prove to future generations through our practical action that a world lighted up by energy can also be clean and beautiful.