Energy Efficiency: the Human Connection

In supporting the work of the Alliance, you help save lives and improve the quality of life for 1/5 of the world’s population. China’s air pollution causes tangible, detrimental effects in Chinese citizen’s day to day lives including decreased sunlight, contaminated food supply, decreased supply of potable water, and increased in health issues and mortality rates.

Globally, China is home to 16 of the 20 cities with the most polluted air. China’s deteriorating air quality has lead to a serious rise in health problems, including acute respiratory inflammation, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. An estimated 200 Chinese cities fall short of WHO standards for the airborne particulates that are responsible for respiratory diseases. According to a recent World Bank report, some 300,000 to 400,000 people die in China by diseases linked to air pollution. And China’s Ministry of Science and Technology reports that 50,000 newborn babies are killed by air pollution a year.

Basic human necessities, water, food and sunlight, are affected by China’s air pollution. A study by U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory showed a continual decrease in sunlight, averaging 4.43% watts a square meter per decade since 1954. This decline in sunlight occurred despite a decrease in China’s cloud cover. China has limited crop land and water supply, with only one third of the world’s average land availability per capita and 27% of the world’s average water resources per capita.Acidification now affects some 30 percent of China’s cropland. Without necessary action, a worsening environmental situation will lead to a 40% decrease in cereal production. In addition, more than half of the rivers in China are too polluted to serve as a source of drinking water, and the situation is exacerbated by climate change. China’s western glaciers will shrink by over 27%, threatening long term water supply to several of the most populated river basins in the world.

How can you help?

China’s deteriorating air quality is a result primarily of farming activities, vehicles, and power plants. The majority of China’s air pollution originates from the country’s heavy dependence on coal, which makes up about 70 percent of its energy mix.

Energy efficiency programs help to prevent the construction of coal-fire powered plants. The Chinese government understands the importance of energy efficiency and has invited the Alliance to support their efforts to implement energy efficiency programs at the central and provincial level. With additional support from our Partners, we can continue to expand our efforts and help 1.3 billion people experience healthier, happier lives.

You can support our work by  becoming an Alliance Partner.