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China to apply research outcomes to prevent and control air pollution

Zhang Yue
Updated: Sep 02,2020 11:05 PM

China will enhance science-based prevention and control of air pollution and promote green development, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Sept 2.

The meeting heard a report on the progress of the research program into causes of heavy air pollution and proposed solutions.

The Chinese government puts air pollution control high on its agenda. General Secretary Xi Jinping has underlined the need to conduct systematic analysis on this crucial issue, and take a holistic approach to tackling it. He required taking significantly improved air quality as an obligatory goal, stepping up multi-stakeholder prevention and control, and essentially ending heavy air pollution.

Premier Li Keqiang required carrying out dedicated research on air pollution, to drive consistent improvements in the air quality in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and their neighboring areas, and offer experience and reference for air pollution control nationwide, including in other key areas.

The meeting noted the good progress made in air pollution prevention and control in recent years. To address the heavy air pollution in the Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei area in autumn and winter, related departments have commissioned special research by experts on the causes of heavy air pollution and possible solutions. This research program has provided important underpinning for science-based treatment of the pollution.

Upon hearing the research report, the meeting required building on the outcomes and intensifying targeted control over the causes of pollution in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and their neighboring areas.

It urged continued efforts to prevent and control air pollution, in particular effectively tackling industrial pollution, promoting clean substitutes for small-scale coal burning, and controlling diesel exhaust emissions and ammonia emissions in agriculture and animal husbandry.

With growing ozone pollution, scientific research on region-wide air pollution treatment will be taken forward, and fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), and ozone will be treated in a coordinated way. Key regions are required to step up joint prevention and control.

"The research findings on causes of heavy air pollution and proposed solutions should be put to effective use in pollution control," Premier Li said.

The meeting called for structural adjustments within regions in energy, industry and transportation. Clean use of coal will be enhanced. The steel, coking, petrochemical, construction materials and other industries will be transformed at a faster pace. The railway shipment of commodities in multi-modal transportation and the use of new energy cargo vehicles in urban delivery services will be significantly increased.

"We must fully appreciate the significance of air pollution control. It affects people’s life quality and the quality of the country’s development. Research on the issue must be further advanced, with sharp focus on the most acute aspects in pollution control and prevention," Premier Li said.

Eco-friendly industries and circular economy will be boosted. Specialized services will be strengthened for green technology and equipment, new types of energy-efficient products, energy conservation and emission reduction.

International cooperation will be bolstered. These measures are aimed at achieving a win-win in both environmental protection and economic growth.

"While tackling pollution, we need to boost environmental protection industries, which also cultivate new drivers of economic growth," Premier Li said.