Nearly 90% of Chinese cities failed to meet government pollution standards last year, according to the country’s environment ministry.
Although only eight of 74 cities monitored were found to meet national standards, the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said the results were an improvement over previous years, Reuters reports.
The country declared a “war on pollution” last year and has since taken steps to reduce the use of coal and eliminate factories that don’t meet certain standards.
The government has said that meeting its own standards could take up to 15 years. The city of Beijing, for instance, had an average atmospheric pollutant reading of 93 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter last year — almost three times the state-determined standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.
China—the world’s largest polluter— produces a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
More Must-Read Stories From TIME
- How an Online Pharmacy Sold Millions Worth Of Dubious COVID-19 Drugs — While Patients Paid the Price
- Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs
- Meet the Women Participating in the Study That Could Change Future of Breast Cancer
- Inside the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Tomorrow's Business Leaders
- An Innovative Washington Law Aims to Get Foreign-Trained Doctors Back in Hospitals
- Why the Ex-Husband of a Missing Chinese Billionaire Is Risking All to Tell Their Story
- Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve