Beijing Vows to Decrease Pollution By 15 Percent This Winter

By Justine Lopez, August 25, 2017

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Levels of PM2.5 will be reduced by 15 percent in Beijing this winter – or at least that’s the plan. Officials have vowed meet this pollution goal in Beijing, Tianjin and 26 other cities in northern China from October to March.

A 143-page winter pollution agenda was released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Thursday. The goal is to employ strict pollution enforcements to meet the ambitious air quality goals that were set in 2013.

The plan is to reduce levels seen in 2012 by over one quarter to an average of 60 micrograms per cubic meter this year. In 2016, the daily average was 73.

Already it looks like this goal is going to be a challenging one to meet. During the first half of the year PM2.5 levels were quite high, especially during the months of January and February when the capital was plagued by extreme pollution.

During the first four months of the year PM2.5 levels in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region jumped to 85 micrograms per cubic meter.

However, despite the challenges experts in China are still optimistic.

"Actually, air quality from April to June was among the best over the last five years in Beijing and we still have confidence in achieving the target," said Shelley Yang, of the Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC).

Air pollution in China is usually at its worst during the winter months when the heating system is turned on in November.

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