There has been much discussion worldwide regarding poor air quality in China. The Chinese government is also concerned, and Chinese officials recently announced that they were offering a total of 10 billion renminbi, or $1.65 billion to cities and regions that make significant progress in air pollution control this year.
As reported in the New York Times, the announcement came from China’s Cabinet, the State Council. The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences deems Beijing to be "almost unfavorable for human living." In an annual report regarding the livability of 40 world cities, Beijing ranked second worst in environmental conditions and Shanghai ranked fifth worst. The three cities with the best environmental rankings were Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich. Moscow earned the lowest ranking.
In 2013, more than 100 Chinese cities had an average of approximately 30 smoggy days, which represented a 52 year high. Chinese news organizations report that December was the worst month for air pollution in 2013, with more than 80 percent of cities with official air monitoring devices failing to meet the national air quality standard for at least half the month.