China's climate change adviser warned the government to decrease coal use as air pollution levels recorded on different cities are already on "unbearable stage." He worried that it may cause individuals exposed to acquire lung cancer.
During a conference at Beijing, Li Junfeng, director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said, "China's pollution is at an unbearable stage. It's like a smoker who needs to quit smoking at once otherwise he will risk getting lung cancer."
China, the largest carbon emitter in the world, relied on the use of coal to sustain approximately 65 percent of its energy. That is believed to be one of the causes for the air pollution in the country to increase way beyond the recommended level by the World Health Organization, which is 25 micrograms per cubic meter for fine particles.
According to China National Environmental Monitoring Center, the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in certain cities are more or less nine times higher than the proposed. As of Monday morning, Tiananmen Square's PM2.5 level was at 239 - a level that is considered as high pollution.
Additionally, more elevated levels, which are considered as severe pollution, were noted in other regions in central and northern China. Yangquan's level was at 356, Shijiazhuang's level was at 309, and Xingtai's level was at 431.
In turn, officials pledged to limit number of vehicles and shut air-polluting factories to prevent air and water from further contamination, thus preventing damage to people's health, Bloomberg reported.
On Friday, China already declared that the air pollution has reached "orange" level which is the highest on its air pollution alert system. The country's tourism is already affected because of this environmental concern wherein it was previously reported that the number of arrivals have noticeably diminished in the first quarter of 2013.