China vows an arduous fight for cleaner sky

By Yang Xun from People’s Daily

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared on Sunday China’s resolute determination to fight for a cleaner sky in the government work report he delivered at the opening meeting of the 5th session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC).

China will cut the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide by 3 percent and have a “remarkable drop” for PM2.5, a fine particulate matter, in selected areas this year, Li pledged.

In order to fulfill the arduous task, Li urged all levels to increase efforts to address pollution caused by the burning of coal, control sources of industrial pollution, deal with vehicle emissions, reduce days with polluted air, and tighten the supervision and punishment against violators.

In order to lower the emissions, Beijing and its neighbors, including Tianjin, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan provinces, will ramp up their efforts to reduce the use of coal, curb vehicle emissions, shut down polluted businesses and plant more trees in 2017.

Local governments have yielded apparent accomplishments in combating air pollution, thanks to their intensified efforts after the central government introduced a guideline in 2013. The average PM2.5 concentrations in 74 big Chinese cities has dropped around 30 percent, and the landmass suffering from acid rain has declined to the level 20 years ago.

The National Energy Administration will also innovate governance approaches and encourage the use of natural gas rather than coal for heating.

More actions indicate that China is stepping up efforts in addressing smog and making the sky blue again.

Experts believe that to remove people’s “smog anxiety”, more efforts from the public and government are required.

On one hand, governments at all levels should pursue eco-civilization and green development, cope with smog with an iron fist and improve the air quality, while on the other hand, the public should reduce the emission of air pollutants and greenhouse gas in every aspect of the daily life, they explained.

To cut down pollution and deal with smog, the general public should manage their life in a refined and green manner, according to experts. More Chinese people are watching over their behaviors in the fight against smog.

Du Shaozhong, Director of Institute for Health and Environment of Communication University of China accumulated over 90,000 flight miles last year due to business trips. As a high carbon emitter from transportation, Du voluntarily spent 275 yuan ($39.8) for 11 tons of carbon credit to compensate for his carbon output in the year.


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