BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China has made steady progress in the ecological environment in the first half of the year (H1) as it pursues a green development path, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said Saturday.
Air quality has improved, with the average concentration of hazardous airborne particles PM2.5 decreasing 5.9 percent year on year to 32 micrograms per cubic meter during the first six months, according to the ministry.
The percentage of days with good air quality was 84.6 percent in cities at and above the prefecture-level, up 0.3 percentage points from a year ago, data showed.
China has also seen clearer surface water. The proportion of surface water with fairly good quality -- at or above Grade III in the country's five-tier water quality system -- rose 4 percentage points year on year to 85.7 percent during the January-June period, while that of surface water below Grade V, the lowest level, dropped 0.8 percentage points to 1.1 percent from a year ago, data showed.
Among its major river basins, both the Yangtze River and Yellow River basins reported better surface water quality, with the former seeing 97 percent of its surface water at or above Grade III.
In 2022, continuous efforts will be made to improve the environment, and promote green and low-carbon development, according to the country's government work report. ■