An aerial photo shows Baiyangdian Lake in Baoding city, North China's Hebei province, in August, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)
China has fulfilled all eight obligatory targets for environmental protection in 2021, the Minister of Ecology and Environment, Huang Runqiu reported to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Monday.
There has been continuous improvement in air quality, with cities at the prefecture-level and above experiencing fairly good air quality 87.5 percent of the time last year, beating the annual target by 2.3 percentage points.
The average density of PM 2.5 particulates, which poses a hazard to health, dropped to 30 micrograms per cubic meter, 13.6 percent better than the goal.
The minister said the decline in emissions of four other major pollutants, including oxynitride and volatile organic compounds has also exceeded 2021 targets, adding that the drop in carbon emissions per unit of GDP was in line with scheduled progress.
Huang also noted marked progress in water pollution, with improvement to both surface and seawater.
About 84.9 percent of the country's surface water ranked Grade I to III last year, the top three tiers in the national five-tier quality system for surface water, versus with the target of 83.5 percent, he noted.