China's ecological and environmental quality significantly improved in 2021 and the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP is on track to meet the goals of the 14th Five-Year Plan for the period 2021-2025, officials from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said at a press conference on Thursday.
Moreover, the number of cities meeting air quality standards and the proportion of days with good air quality have been rising. Of the 339 cities at prefecture level and above, 218 cities met the standards in 2021, accounting for 64.3 percent, up 3.5 percentage points year on year.
Also, the average annual concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, O3, SO2, NO2 and CO all fell for the first time year on year.
Furthermore, the proportion of surface water with fairly good quality – at or above Grade III – reached 84.9 percent, up 1.5 percentage points year on year, rising for the sixth year in a row.
At the same time, the trend of worsening soil pollution has been curbed, and the safe utilization rate of polluted farmland has remained above 90 percent nationwide. The country effectively ensured the safe use of key land for construction while maintaining agricultural land.
In addition, the sound environment of Chinese cities has generally improved. In 324 cities at prefecture level and above that carried out sound environment monitoring, 95.4 percent of their functional areas met the standards during the day, 0.8 percentage points higher year on year, and 82.9 percent at night, up 2.8 percentage points year on year.
However, in terms of climate, the national average temperature in 2021 was 10.53 degrees Celsius – the highest since 1951. The average precipitation was 672.1 mm, 6.7 percent – the 12th highest since 1951.
The Report on the State of the Ecology and Environment in China 2021 has been compiled, according to the ministry.