Beijing promises to meet air quality standard by 2022
Updated: 2014-07-08 14:45
Now that Beijing has become one of three finalists in the race for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the city has once again reiterated its fight against air pollution.
Fang Li, vice head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, said that Beijing has adopted legally binding regulations for reducing air pollution, and that the city will meet official standards for air quality by 2022.
Reducing the concentration of PM2.5, which is particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller, has become a target of the Beijing municipal government, Fang said.
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Beijing's average PM2.5 level in 2013 reached 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter, far exceeding the 35-microgram national standard. The capital city has pledged to reduce this figure to 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017.
The People's Daily said the city will allocate nearly 50 billion yuan ($8.06 billion) to the battle against air pollution in the next five years.
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Regardless if Beijing wins the bid or not, its air quality will meet the daily standard in 2022, Fang said in confidence.
Three cities, Beijing, Oslo and Almaty, must submit their detailed bids to the International Olympic Committee by next January. The host city will be selected in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.
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Last November, Beijing and neighboring city Zhangjiakou in Hebei province announced a joint bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, with Beijing to host events staged on ice, and Zhangjiakou, about 200 kilometers northwest of the capital, hosting snow events.
An intercity railway has been planned to connect the capital and Zhangjiakou. It will only take about 40 minutes to travel between the two cities after the railway becomes operational.
The bidding will benefit the development of winter sports in China as well. At the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, China claimed three gold, four silver and two bronze, ranking 12th in the medal tally.