China: driving restrictions reduced air pollution

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China: driving restrictions reduced air pollution

Driving restriction, due to a mix of factors such as the global COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against the climate crisis, reduced air pollution in China. Research published on the Environmental science and pollution research international shows evidence from prefecture-level cities of China.

The study, entitled: Have driving restrictions reduced air pollution: evidence from prefecture-level cities of China, in fact explains how, with rapid economic development, air pollution became a serious problem in China.

Vehicle's exhaust emissions are among the main sources of air pollution. With samples of 173 prefecture-level cities in China from 2006 to 2016, this paper takes the implementation of driving restrictions as a quasi-natural experiment to examine the relationship between driving restrictions and air quality through the difference-in-differences method based on the propensity score matching.

Results indicate that driving restrictions have not improved the air quality in terms of average treatment effect as there is no clear evidence that people turn from private cars to busses or subways. Furthermore, heterogeneous effects of driving restrictions exist across different regions and cities of China.

The implementation of driving restrictions has significantly positive impacts on air pollution in the Eastern and Central cities of China, while it has significantly negative effects in non-capital cities. This study implies that the development of local public transportation needs to be taken into account when formulating the policy of driving restrictions.

The apocalyptic eruption of the Semeru volcano

Apocalyptic eruption of the Semeru volcano, on the island of Java, Indonesia. Nearly a hundred people were injured, at least 14 dead, according to a new death toll confirmed by the disaster management agency.

The disaster agency has started sending basic supplies to care for citizens affected by the eruption and its catastrophic aftermath. The volcano (3,700 meters) is the highest mountain on the island of Java, an Indonesian island located in the famous Pacific ring of fire.

The volcano erupted, causing a dense cloud of smoke and ash that quickly blanketed the entire area. Hundreds of people were evacuated while entire towns were wiped out.