Although Beijing came in first, it ranked last in a survey of public satisfaction published at around the same time.
The ranking, done by the National Bureau of Statistics, featured a total of 31 provinces, with the heavy-polluted capital as the frontrunner. Fujian and Zhejiang provinces trailed behind, whereas rocky Tibet and Xinjiang were the lowest ranked regions, the South China Morning Post wrote.
The green index was based on 55 statistical parameters and took into account investment in cleaning up the environment and use of resources, and reflected progress on moving towards a cleaner environment, which President Xi Jinping has vowed to make China’s primary goal until 2020.
Interestingly, Beijing came in 30th out of 31 regions in a separate survey of public satisfaction with the environment published along with green index data on the statistics bureau’s website. Tibet, which took one of the last spots in the first rating, appeared to win high public appraisal, coming first in the respective index.
One of the latest environmental developments China has conducted recently is setting official pollution limits in major financial and industrial hubs – first came Beijing in September, followed by Shanghai the other day. Looking to eradicate the so-called "big city disease" the authorities have limited the population in these two cities to 23 and 25 million, respectively, which is to be fully implemented by 2020-2035. Boosting housing prices and relocating residents are cited to be among the proposed measures.