China key regions meet modest winter air quality targets, as cleaner heating offsets swelling industrial emissions


CREA analysis of China’s air quality trends in the winter 2020-21 shows that

  • All three key regions met their modest air quality targets for the winter, achieving improvements compared with 2019.
  • The improvements in the northern regions were due to reduction in heating sector emissions, with rapid growth in steel, cement and other heavy industry increasing industrial emissions.
  • Beijing missed its target for Jan-Mar 2021, but the main reason was very unfavorable weather conditions, not an increase in emissions.
  • Cities in 16 provinces continue to suffer from “heavy pollution days”, which China’s new five-year plan aims to “basically eliminate” by 2025. Our modeling and data analysis shows the sources of heavy pollution days for each province and the emissions reductions that will be required to meet the target.

Read the full analysis, and see the interactive map of the origins of heavy smog episodes in the most affected city of each province.


  • 三个大气污染防治重点区域均达到2020-2021年秋冬季空气质量改善目标,与2019年相比稳中求进。
  • 尽管钢铁、水泥、火电等高污染工业产量增长显著,京津冀及周边地区、汾渭平原的空气质量仍有所改善,主要得益于近几年清洁采暖散煤治理所带来的成效。
  • 2021年第一季度,北京没有达到生态环境部制定的秋冬季空气质量目标,主要由不利的气象条件导致。
  • 2020年有位于16个省的86个城市经历重污染天气。根据“十四五规划纲要”提出的到2025年基本消除重污染天数的目标,报告通过建模和数据分析,识别出雾霾天污染物的来源地,以及为达到目标需要做的减排努力。