A man rides a bicycle at a bicycle sharing station in Beijing. China is acutely aware of an increasing number of protests over environmental concerns in the country, where three decades of rapid and unfettered industrial expansion have taken a heavy toll. Premier Li Keqiang announced in March that Beijing was “declaring war” against pollution. Read more
An octopus-shaped kite flies through the smog during a kite festival in Chongqing, southwest China
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Eiffel Tower in central Paris through a haze of pollution. More than 30 departments in France have been hit by maximum level pollution alerts since Thursday, prompting the ecology minister to say air quality was “an emergency and a priority for the government”.
China’s National Meteorological Centre issued a “yellow” smog alert for much of the country’s north, the fifth consecutive day of heavy pollution that has cut visibility and seen pollution reach hazardous levels, affecting areas such as Tiananmen Square (above) in Beijing.
Cyclists cover their faces on a hazy day in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Two of the country’s most influential news outlets were criticised after trying to put a positive spin on China’s air pollution problem. The Global Times newspaper said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while state broadcaster CCTV listed five “unforeseen rewards” of smog, including helping Chinese people’s sense of humour.
Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images
Young environmentalists protest in front of the Polish economy ministry in Warsaw, where the coal and climate summit is taking place. The country’s dependence on fossil fuel means it ranks fifth for carbon-dioxide pollution in the EU, behind Germany, Britain, Italy and France.
Men carry animal fat that will be turned into glue, in the Hazaribagh neighbourhood of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hazaribagh has been listed in a report by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute as the fifth most polluted place on earth. It houses 95 per cent of Bangladesh’s leather tanneries, which every day dump 22,000 cubic litres of toxic waste, including the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the capital city’s main river and key water supply, the Buriganga. Read more
A traffic policeman signals to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. The second day of heavy smog forced the closure of schools and highways on Monday, according to Xinhua News Agency.
A protester from Ecuador holds up an oil-covered hand outside a court in New York ahead of Chevron Corp’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) trial on Tuesday. Chevron is attempting to convince a US judge that a group of Ecuadorean villagers and their US lawyer used bribery to win an $18bn judgment against Chevron from a court in Ecuador, in the latest chapter in a long-running fight over pollution in the Amazon jungle. The oil company is asking the federal court to prevent the villagers and their Harvard-educated lawyer, Steven Donziger, from using US courts to enforce the Ecuadorean judgment. Read more
Religious offerings from devotees and leftover wooden frames of Lord Ganesh idols pile up in the Yamuna river in New Delhi, India, on Friday. Considered one of the holiest rivers in India, the Yamuna River has been dying a slow death from pollution for decades despite the investment of millions of dollars to preserve its ecosystem