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ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperOpinion / Op-Ed ContributorsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsContributorsCartoonsSpecialsFrom the PressForum TrendsFrom the ReadersDebateEditors Pick:Syrian refugeescyberspaceV-Day paradeshrimp scandalTPPFight poverty to reduce pollutionBy Bjorn Lomborg (China Daily) Updated:2014-08-04 07:33Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallIn the past three decades, Chinas development has pulled a staggering 680 million people out of poverty. It did so through a dramatic increase in access to modern energy, mostly powered by coal, which has led to terrible outdoor air pollution in Chinese cities, not to mention making China the worlds premier carbon dioxide emitter. That is why many environmentalists say that Chinas meteoric rise has come at substantial environmental costs.It is true that China now suffers from more outdoor air pollution than in its pre-boom days, but the same happened in all other industrializing countries – air pollution in London reached a peak in 1890.It is also important to point out that while outdoor air pollution in China has definitely increased since 1990, the overall impact of air pollution has declined. This is because indoor air pollution is often wrongly ignored. Indoor air pollution comes from burning charcoal, twigs and dung inside the house, which creates terrible pollution and kills more than 1 million people in China each year.Overall, the worlds largest study conducted by the World Health Organization estimates that for China, deaths from outdoor air pollution have increased from 900,000 to 1.2 million a year from 1990 to 2010. But decreasing poverty has allowed many more to avoid indoor air pollution, which has dropped faster, from more than 1.6 million deaths to 1 million deaths in 2010. Almost 2.6 million people died from air pollution in China in 1990, but the number declined to 2.3 million in 2010 despite an 18 percent increase in the population. In total, fewer people now die from air pollution in China because of less poverty.With outdoor air pollution rampant in Beijing that may seem surprising, but we forget that indoor air pollution has always been more important. In 1900, almost all pollution deaths in the world were related to indoor air pollution, and the individual risk of dying from air pollution was more than five-fold higher than it is today.In short, indoor air pollution has declined, because the increasing number of people coming out of poverty can now afford to cook using modern energy. Yes, outdoor air pollution has increased – but that only confirms a long-standing finding that many environmental indicators tend to first get worse, then better, with economic development.Essentially, China, just like the United Kingdom before it, has traded off economic development for some additional outdoor air pollution. This prosperity buys food, education and medical services, while electricity and gas help eradicate indoor air pollution. The familiar pattern is that once a country obtains a certain level of wealth, it can also afford to protect more nature and reduce pollution. About 80 percent of Chinas coal-fired power plants now have pollution-reducing scrubbers, and sulfur emissions have been declining since 2006.Previous Page1 2 Next PagePrevious Page1 2 Next Page8.03KRelated StoriesChinese local govts to be graded on pollution reductionPingyao tackles fume pollution in the catering industrySlower economic growth results in less air pollutionPromoting cooperation and building a heavy pollution monitoring and early warning systemMost Viewed Todays Top NewsChinese sci-fi flicks have yet to set sailNo late recovery of justiceRussia has ability to tide over oil crisisRapid rise thanks to balanced structureParliament win gives Abe a free handForum TrendsWhat to give: Cash or gift?7 reasons I came to ChinaAre traditional family values outdated?Should parents tell kids about their past?Are you addicted to online shopping?Would you consider prenuptial agreement?Six Chinese customs foreigners cant understandColumnistsSo just who is the real sissy, then?Fractured Lima deal to save the planetFeatured ContributorsNo more ugly Chinese tourists, pleaseGrowth down, stock index upStar BloggersMy life with a blog in 2014 By Judy_zhuIve been thinking about writing an article to summarize my life in the past year, 2014, and I saw the topic popping out yesterday. What a wonderful coincidence!Tired of shopping By lexaleeNews outlets were probably inspired by the Alibaba IPO earlier this fall, and the company would like nothing more than to inspire Americans to open their wallets as widely as Chinese do for November 11.Cheating and dishonest people damage China’s reputation By MichaelMSince coming to China Ive met some very kind, nice and honest people. However, there are those who will cheat you with little or no concern for their own reputation.SpecialNanjing bookseller adds passion in the pagesThe new normal of Chinas economySenior immigrants adapt to city life…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer |Copyright 1995 -. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. 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