Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

China to tackle air pollution with new plan
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Jul 25, 2013

China to spend $277 billion on improving air quality
Beijing (AFP) July 25, 2013 - China's government plans to spend 1,700 billion yuan ($277 billion) to tackle air pollution over the next five years, state media reported Thursday, after smog became a major source of social discontent.

The money will be spent on reducing concentrations of damaging particles known as PM2.5 in the air, the state-run China Daily newspaper cited an official as saying.

Across China, levels of PM2.5 -- tiny particles that are generated by burning coal and can penetrate deep into the lungs, causing damage -- regularly exceed limits suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Officials aim to reduce PM2.5 emissions in key cities including Beijing by around 25 percent compared to 2012 levels by 2017, the report said.

The plan would mean PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing will reach around 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017, the report said -- still several times above the WHO's limit.

The report did not provide details of how the targets would be met. China's environmental ministry was not immediately available to comment.

An especially heavy wave of pollution earlier this year stoked popular discontent, prompting China's government to announce measures to improve air quality -- including rating officials' performance on air quality ratings in their regions.

A decades-old Chinese policy of giving out free coal for winter heating in the north of the country has reduced life expectancy there by more than five years, a study released earlier this month by a US scientific journal said.

China is mostly reliant on coal for power, and its consumption of fossil fuels grew rapidly in recent decades as the country's economy expanded to become the world's second largest.

China's coal consumption is expected to continue to grow -- although Beijing has set a target of raising non-fossil energy use to 15 percent of its total consumption by 2020, up from 10 percent in 2010.

The Chinese government has announced a $277 billion initiative to tackle air pollution.

The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan aims to reduce emissions by 25 percent from 2012 levels by 2017 and specifically targets North China, especially Beijing and the provinces of Tianjin and Hebei, China Daily reported Wednesday.

"The Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province area is the most stringently targeted because airborne pollution is most serious in this area," the state-run newspaper quoted Wang Jinnan, vice president of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning as saying during the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference Saturday in Guiyang, Guizhou province. Wang participated in drafting the new pollution plan.

"The central government is determined to curb emissions in energy-consuming and highly polluting industries," state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian as saying at the conference.

Zhao Hualin, head of the pollution prevention and control department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said the air pollution plan is just one of three plans that will be released in the next five years, China Daily reported. Other areas to be addressed include water pollution control and improvements to the rural environment.

Beijing and other northern Chinese cities have experienced severe levels of pollution particularly since January, when Beijing's air quality index regularly exceeded 500, the scale's maximum reading.

"The thick smog and haze that covered large areas of the country in January has focused public attention on this issue," Zhao said.

A study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said air pollution causes people in northern China to live an average of 5.5 years less than their southern counterparts.

An April report in The New York Times cited a study led by Washington University and the World Health Organization determining outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total.

Last December, just a month before the onset of exceptional levels of smog in Beijing, the government announced an air pollution reduction plan for 13 major areas covering 117 cities aimed at cutting the level of particulates in the air at least 5 percent by 2015. That initiative was announced at the U.N. climate change talks in Doha.

The World Health Organization recommends particulate levels be kept to less than 25 micrograms per cubic meter. In January, Beijing air quality levels reached nearly 900 micrograms.

However, Chai Fahe, vice president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences told China Daily government leaders concluded after the plan had been released in December, a tougher approach against air pollution was needed, China Daily reported.


Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Black-ore gold rush scars Philippine coasts
Caoayan, Philippines (AFP) July 24, 2013
Catholic priest Sammy Rosimo followed truck tread marks to a coastal mine in the northern Philippines, where a stockpile of fine black sand presided over scenes of a desert apocalypse. Instead of tall, brush-covered sand dunes that have for centuries protected the small farming town of Caoayan from the powerful waters of the South China Sea, trenches cut through barren beaches. "This is ... read more

Malaysia says will get tough on illegal immigrants

More steam in Fukushima reactor building: TEPCO

Fukushima steam still baffling: TEPCO

The best defense against catastrophic storms: Mother Nature, say Stanford researchers

Controlling friction by tuning van der Waals forces

Carnegie Mellon, Microsoft researchers demonstrate internal tagging technique for 3D-printed objects

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the lowest noise of them all

Researchers seek metal-coating secrets of ancient gold-, silversmiths

Carnegie Mellon-Developed Chemicals That Break Down Water Contaminants Pass Safety Test

NUS researchers developed world's first water treatment techniques using apple and tomato peels

Scotland backs Hebrides conservation area despite fishing objections

Rapid upper ocean warming linked to declining aerosols

New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration

Arctic methane breach an 'economic time bomb'

Ancient Antarctic ice got muddy

Russia blocks bid for Antarctic sanctuary: NGOs

Western demand for cashmere said a threat to endangered Asian species

Major global analysis offers hope for saving the wild side of staple food crops

Hunting said pushing central African forests to point of collapse

Britain funds agri-tech strategy to reinvent food supply chain

Tropical Storm Dorian forms in Atlantic

Rescuers battle to find China quake survivors

Quake shatters migrants' dream of better life for son

China quake survivors bury their dead

Covert U.S. flights could signal new Somalia action

Post-mortem on French operation in Mali

Nigeria to withdraw some troops from Mali

Climate change to hit Volta Basin for energy, farming

Japanese women retake top spot for life expectancy

Archaeologist says he's uncovered King David's palace

Brain signal said to create inner 'voice' we hear even if we're silent

Genetic evolution seen in peoples living at high altitudes

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement