China really gets tough on air pollution

China is expected to have 200 million cars on the road by 2020 increasing pressure on energy security and the environment, government officials said yesterday.

The concentration levels of breathable suspended particles with a diameter of 10 microns — known as PM10 — or less, must fall by at least 10 percent by 2017 from the levels in 2012.

Tougher objectives have been set for some key areas. For the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regional cluster, concentration levels of PM2.5 particles — those smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can penetrate deep into the lungs — must be cut by 25 percent by 2017 from the 2012 level, under the plan. The target for the Yangtze River Delta region is a reduction of 20 percent and for the Pearl River Delta region it is a cut of about 15 percent.

The plan takes into account pollution and economic development in different areas, with the aim of reducing PM2.5 levels in the three key regions and PM10 levels in the other cities, Wang said.”

But this does not mean that controlling PM2.5 is not important in the other regions, as PM2.5 particles account for 50 to 60 percent of PM10 particles,” he added.The plan is an updated version of one released late last year that was designed to tackle air pollution in 13 key areas.

Under the former plan, PM2.5 levels in the three key areas were targeted to drop by 6 percent by 2015, based on 2010 levels.Wang said the updated version was drawn up in response to a growing consensus that a tougher approach to air pollution is required following severe pollution in January.Thick smog and haze covered 2.7 million square kilometers of the country at the start of the year, affecting more than 600 million people.

The technological level and quality standards of its industry as a whole are still fairly low, notwithstanding a marked change since 2000, spurred in part by foreign investment. The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past two decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship, whilst retaining state domination of the economy.

increasing pressure on energy security and the environment, government officials said yesterday. In large part as a result of economic liberalization policies, the GDP quadrupled between 1978 and 1998, and foreign investment soared during the 1990s.

Agriculture is by far the leading occupation, involving over 50% of the population, although extensive rough, high terrain and large arid areas – especially in the west and north – limit cultivation to only about 10% of the land surface.

Except for the oasis farming in Xinjiang and Qinghai, some irrigated areas in Inner Mongolia and Gansu, and sheltered valleys in Tibet, agricultural production is restricted to the east. Livestock raising on a large scale is confined to the border regions and provinces in the north and west; it is mainly of the nomadic pastoral type.

Growing domestic demand beginning in the mid-1990s, however, has forced the nation to import increasing quantities of petroleum. Hydroelectric projects exist in provinces served by major rivers where near-surface coal is not abundant.

There are railroads to North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, and Vietnam, and road connections to Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Myanmar.

via China really gets tough on air pollution – China, Environment – Thailand Business News.

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