Thursday, January 24, 2013

China says major pollutant levels dropping, but hard task ahead

Reuters: China's environment minister said on Thursday that emissions of four major pollutants dropped last year and should fall by a similar level this year, but admitted the country faced a tough task in trying to end chronic air pollution.

This winter's pollution, especially in northern China, has been so severe that even usually pliant state media has criticized government inaction, partly because it can't be hidden from the public unlike other sensitive subjects such as high-level corruption.

But emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, chemical oxygen and ammonia nitrogen all recorded on-year falls of two percent in 2012, and were expected to drop by the same degree in 2013, or even faster, state media cited Zhou Shengxian as saying.

"To cope with an air quality crisis, contingency measures will be adopted, such as suspending or limiting the production of certain vehicles and limiting emissions and car usage," the official Xinhua news agency cited him as saying.

"The ministry will also ban the operation of vehicles registered before 2005 under exhaust emissions requirements ... and efforts will be made to improve the quality of gasoline and diesel."...

Smog in Beijing, shot by Sejma Prodanovic, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: