Government urged to curb pollution

Updated: 2013-03-03 07:11

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

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The government must pay more attention to the rise in pollution particularly that which is airborne, diplomat-turned-Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference spokesman Lyu Xinhua said on Saturday.

"As a Beijing resident, I hope to have fresh air and blue skies, just like everyone else. To achieve that, the government should further increase funds (to tackle the problem), introduce legislation, and solicit public and corporate involvement and contribution," Lyu told the press.

According to the country's major pollutant monitoring and measuring system, Beijing had only five smog-free days throughout January, and about 1.4 million square kilometers of area nationwide also experienced smog and haze.

Previously, environmental protection authorities had introduced measures such as limiting car usage and suspending or limiting the production of certain vehicles to improve air quality.

China has included airborne particles measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter as one of the criteria in its pollutant monitoring and measuring system from this year.

The surveillance of four major pollutants as well as PM2.5 and ozone (O3) are now conducted in four municipalities, 27 provincial capitals, and three key regions. They include East China's Yangtze River Delta, South China's Pearl River Delta, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area in the north.

Lyu urged the government to implement stricter regulations. He said the level of awareness on environmental protection among some enterprises is still low.

He cited rapid industrialization and urbanization, which involve huge energy consumption and an irrational handling of energy resources, as among the reasons for pollution.

To curb pollution, he said the public must adopt a greener lifestyle - drive less and use more public transport since air pollution is closely associated to vehicle emission.

The environmental protection ministry had earlier said they would ban the use of vehicles registered before 2005 under an exhaust emission regulation.

"Government resolution is the key to solving pollution," Lyu reiterated, adding that the same could be said for other public issues such as inflation, traffic congestion and food safety.

According to him, members of the public now have no faith in the food quality made on the mainland, citing milk powder as an example.

After the 2008 baby formula quality crisis which had caused about 300,000 infants to fall ill, many mainlanders began to purchase foreign milk powder from Hong Kong, leading to shortages there since 2011.

"I believe the relevant departments have already taken measures and the problems will be addressed gradually," he said, adding the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine recently released a report that 99 percent of milk powder made on the mainland met national standards.


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