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Capital hastens effort to cut PM2.5 pollution

China Daily, July 8, 2014 Adjust font size:

It's part of the effort to raise companies' awareness of the cost of pollution while raising the public's and companies' awareness of abiding by the rules, said Fang Li, deputy head of and spokesman for the bureau.

According to the bureau, the major pollutants that are monitored were reduced - sulfur dioxide by 7.25 percent; nitric oxide by 6.29 percent; chemical oxygen demand by 4.30 percent; and ammonia nitrogen by 3.80 percent - from 2012 to 2013.

The capital has invested more than 14.7 billion yuan in fighting pollution so far. The city's bureau of finance vows to invest an additional 47.8 billion yuan in the next five years to further fight air pollution.

The World Health Organization has said that PM2.5 intensity should be no greater than 35 micrograms per cubic meter, whereas Beijing's figure, despite its efforts and determination in the past few years, reached 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013.

Pan said the key to reducing pollution lies in emission reduction, and the capital's current effort will help bring more polluting companies in line with the law.

Catherine Witherspoon, former executive officer of the California Air Resource Board, said the capital has witnessed policy progress during the past few years.

"The air pollution problem Beijing is facing is very similar to those faced by California in the 1950s," she said. "It took us so long to figure it out, and so would the city."

"It takes time to turn the ship around," she added.

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