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.
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.
Photos: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images