Nearly 90 percent of the major cities in China failed to meet air quality standards in 2014, according to a new report by the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The report said that 66 of the 74 major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, failed to meet the standards.
Although the Chinese capital was not in the list of the 10 worst performers, the fact that Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing, is home to seven of the 10 most polluted cities, remains a matter of concern for Beijingers.
However, the report does carry a silver lining. Compared to 2013, fewer number of days were classified as severely polluted in 2014. For instance, in Beijing and its surrounding areas, like Hebei Province and the city of Tianjin, the number of days classified as severely polluted decreased by 3.7 percent in 2014.
China’s pollution map, meanwhile, has a clear north-south divide, with a bulk of the cities with the worst air pollution being located in the north, and the top 10 cities with the best air quality being in the south.
Haikou, the capital of Hainan Province, was listed as the city with the best air quality.
Officials from the ministry said that emissions from fossil-fuels used to generate power along with vehicular emissions are the key concerns going forward.