Report On the State of the Environment In China
Reduction of the Total Amount of Major Pollutants
Water Environment
Marine Environment
Atmospheric Environment
Acoustic Environment
Solid Waste
Radiation Environment
Natural Ecology
Land and Rural Environment
Climate and Natural Disasters
Environmental Management

General Situation
The overall air quality of Chinese cities was good, but some cities still suffered from serious pollution. The distribution of acid rain remained unchanged but acid rain pollution was still stern.
Air Quality
Cities above prefecture level (including the capital of prefecture, autonomous region and league) Cities with air quality reaching Grade I national air quality standard accounted for 2.4%; 58.1% of the cities met Grade II standard and 36.1% was up to Grade III standard. Cities where air quality was inferior to Grade III made up 3.4% of the total.
72% of cities met Grade II standard in terms of annual average level of PM and 2.2% of cities failed to meet Grade III standard. The heavily polluted cities were mostly distributed in Qinghai Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Zhejiang Province, Sichuan Province, Beijing, Jiangsu Province, Hubei Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, Liaoning Province, Hunan Province, Hebei Province, Shanxi Province, Shandong Province, Henan Province and Chongqing Municipality.


Ratio of Classified Cities in terms of SO2 Density

79.1% of the cities met Grade II standard in terms of annual average level of SO2 and 1.2% were worse than Grade III standard. Cities with heavy SO2 pollution were distributed mostly in Shanxi Province, Guizhou Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province, Chongqing, Hunan Province, Hebei Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Gansu Province, Anhui Province, Henan Province, Liaoning Province, Shaanxi Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province and Tianjin Municipality.
All cities above prefecture level have met Grade II standard in terms of annual average concentration of NO2 with 86.9% up to Grade I standard. A relative high concentration of NO2 was found in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Beijing, Guangdong Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai Municipality.
Key Cities  Air quality in 113 key cities of environmental protection maintained stable with 44.2% meeting Grade II national air quality standard, 54.9% up to Grade III standard and 0.9% inferior to Grade III standard. Compared with 2006, the proportion of cities where air quality was worse than Grade III dropped by 6.2 percentage points.
Acid Rain
Acid Rain Incidence  Out of the 500 cities (prefectures) monitored, acid rain appeared in 281 cities, accounting for 56.2% of the total; 171 cities, or 34.2% of the total, saw acid rain incidence higher than 25% and 65 cities (13%) had acid rain as frequent as 75% plus.

Segmented Statistics of Acid Rain Incidence across China

Acid rain incidence (%)






Number of cities






Proportion (%)






Comparison of cities with varied incidence of acid rain between years

Precipitation acidity Compared to 2006, the proportion of cities beset with relatively heavy acid rain (precipitation pH value<5.0) declined by 3.2 percentage points and the ratio of cities suffering from heavy acid rain (precipitation pH value<4.5) dropped by 1.3 percentage points.

Comparison of cities with different average of pH value between years

Statistics of annual average pH value of precipitation across China

Range of annual average pH value






Number of cities






Ratio (%)






Distribution of Acid Rain Acid rain made concentrated appearance mostly in areas to the south of the Yangtze River, and to the east of Sichuan and Yunnan Province, including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Fujian, and Chongqing as well as the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.
Compared with 2006, the acid rain distribution area in China remained stable. The southern part of Hunan province, central Guizhou, northeast of Sichuan and northwest of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have seen alleviation in acid rain pollution.

Emissions of major pollutants from waste gas
In 2007 the total emissions of SO2 were 24.681 million tons, down 4.7% compared to that of 2006. Emissions of soot and dust registered 9.863 million tons and that of industrial dust amounted to 6.99 million tons, showing a decrease of 9.4% and 13.5% respectively compared with that of 2006.

Nationwide Emissions of Major Pollutants from Waste Gas in Recent Years (Unit: 10,000 tons)



SO2 Emissions

Soot and Dust Emissions

Industrial Dust Emissions































Measures and Actions
Release of the Eleventh National Five-Year Plan on Prevention and Control of Acid Rain and SO2 Pollution】The preparation of the Eleventh National Five-Year Plan on Prevention and Control of Acid Rain and SO2 Pollution was completed. The Plan set out the general target of notable reduction of total SO2 emissions and control of the growing trend of NOx emission. By 2010 sulfur deposition intensity would be effectively reduced, and areas subject to serious acid deposition would be reduced. Pollution from regional atmospheric fine particles would be mitigated and SO2 level in urban atmosphere lowered. Major tasks defined in the Plan included the following: allocating targets for total emission control of SO2, implementing industrial SO2 control program focusing on desulphurization of coal-fired power plants, intensifying industrial restructuring, controlling sulfur content of fuels and NOx emissions and building up capacity in environmental supervision.
Active Response to Climate Change】  China has been active in international affairs concerning climate change. It participated in a number of meetings such as G8 (USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia) +5 (China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico) Dialogue and successive ministerial meetings, 15th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. At these meetings, the Chinese government has set forth its position, measures and achievements on climate change and presented China's image as a big and responsible nation. A national leading group to address climate change was set up with Premier Wen Jiabao as the group leader. China's National Climate Change Program was also unveiled. Altogether 885 CDM projects were approved with the contracted value of 1.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalent.
Protection of Ozone Layer】 Since July 1, 2007 China has stopped the production and consumption of CFCs (except some necessary usage) and halon, accomplishing the target of Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer two and a half years beforehand. The delivery of China's commitment to the international community has drawn world recognition. At COP19 of Montreal Protocol, SEPA and China General Administration for Customs were awarded for their excellent implementation and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games won an award for public awareness.
Coordination and Supervision of Air Quality Guarantee Work for the 29th Olympics】Approved by the State Council, Beijing and its neighboring six provinces (autonomous region and municipality) and SEPA jointly established a coordination team to guarantee Beijing's air quality during the Olympic Games. They prepared Measures to Guarantee Beijing's Air Quality for the 29th Olympics to ensure a Green Olympic Games through concerted efforts. SEPA and Beijing Municipal government, together with governments of Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Shandong Province as well as Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games and Infrastructure Barracks Division of PLA General Logistics made a study and arrangement for the guarantee work. Beijing was highly appreciated by the United Nations for its environmental protection measures and distinct improvement in air quality.