Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits

In the wake of the Paris Climate Agreement, it is pretty shocking to see these photographs taken in the Shanxi province in Northern China. Shanxi is the leading producer of coal in the most populated country in the world, with about 260 billion metric tons of coal deposits, a third of China’s total. The region produces more than 300 million metric tones of coal annually, and heavily depends on coal mining and burning coal for energy. That makes Shanxi is one of the most polluted areas in China.

Advertisement

Over the weekend 195 countries approved an agreement to set targets on reducing carbon emissions — the primary cause of global warming — in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. China is the source of nearly a third of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions. China’s government has publicly set 2030 as a deadline to reach the country’s emissions peak, and data suggest its coal consumption is already in decline. But based on the scenes below captured by Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer, this could be a daunting challenge.

A coal mine worker monitors a sorting area at a coal mine

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Miners in a coal mine

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits

Grave markers are seen in a cemetary as smoke billows from a coal fired power plant

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Residents walk in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

The boot of a miner resting on a piece of coal

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Workers monitor a sorting area at a coal mine

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Workers stands next to a coal sorting machinery

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Workers watches coal move on a belt

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

A mine worker warms herself over a stove as she takes a break

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Workers sort coal for quality

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Wearing mask is a must

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

A mine worker stands in front of his locker after finishing a shift

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Coal is piled up as it is sorted at a coal mine

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

A woman collects coal in a sorting area at a mine

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Man of coal

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Residents wear masks for protection

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Wang Nu,83, looks out the window of her house next to a coal fired power plant

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Cityscape

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

A man carries coal he collected from a sorting area

Illustration for article titled Photographs Capture What Life is Like in One of the Worlds Dirtiest Pits
Advertisement

Photos: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter