Beijing to Spend USD 2.6 Billions to Tackle Air Pollution in 2017

Beijing, Beijing will spend 18.2 billion yuan (2.6 billion US dollars) to fight air pollution in 2017, officials said.

This year, the city will strengthen air pollution treatment, replace coal with clean energy for 700 villages, phase out 300,000 high-polluting old vehicles, close or upgrade 2,570 polluting factories, said Beijing acting mayor Cai Qi while delivering the city government work report to the annual session of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, which opened on Saturday.

Cai said Beijing will take tougher measures to improve the city’s air quality in 2017.

The city will “strictly implement emission standards, enhance the environmental law enforcement and establish an environmental protection police force,” he said in the work report.

Beijing’s environmental watchdog handled 13,127 environment-related cases in 2016, with fines totalling 150 million yuan (21.8 million U.S. dollars), including 40 million yuan for nearly 1,400 air pollution cases.

Last year, Beijing had 198 days with good air quality, an increase of 12 days from 2015. Its average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, was 73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, down 9.9 percent from 2015.

The city aims to control the annual average density of PM2.5 to around 60 micrograms per cubic meter this year, said Lu Yan, head of the Beijing Development and Reform Commission.

Source: Qatar News Agency