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Cleaner Energy for Cars to Help Create 'Green Olympics'

Beijing will introduce cleaner energy for automobiles and greatly cut emissions, as air pollution has become a major concern for the city in the preparation for "green" Olympic Games.

From January 1, 2008, automobile distributors in Beijing will have to sell gasoline and diesel meeting the new China IV standards that are equivalent to the Euro IV standards in the European Union, according to Du Shaozhong, deputy director of Beijing Environment Protection Bureau.

It is expected the new standards will reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide pumped out onto the streets of the nation's capital by automobile exhausts by 1,840 tons every year.

Environmental authorities said major distributors including Sinopec and PetroChina are "technically mature" enough to provide China IV standards fuel and are well poised to first sell the product in Beijing.

The current China III standards, equivalent to the Euro III standards, have reduced sulphur dioxide emissions from automobile exhausts by 2,480 tons annually since it was enforced at the end of 2005, according to official statistics.

To reduce pollutants in emission, some buses in Beijing have already used fuel that meets the China IV standards.

There are 3.1 million motor vehicles in Beijing and about 1,000 to 1,200 vehicles are adding to Beijing's roads every day.

Despite a rapid increase in the number of motor vehicles, Beijing has managed to reduce nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, two main pollutants in exhaust emission, in the air.

Nitrogen dioxide in every cubic meter of air reduced by 10.8 percent between 1998 and 2006, or from 74 gammas to 66 gammas per cubic meter, and carbon monoxide decreased by 33 percent from 3.3 milligram to 2.2 milligrams per cubic meter.

About 40 percent to 50 percent of the major pollutants in Beijing's air -- nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and inhalant particulate matter -- come from vehicle exhaust emissions.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)

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