China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Beijing struggles to keep air clean

Beijing. March 24. INTERFAX-CHINA - Less than three months into the 2006, Beijing has seen air quality decline noticeably with the number of clean air days falling by more than 20% compared to the same period last year, according to government statistics and Interfax analysis.

By this time last year, the city had already enjoyed 60 "blue-sky" days, where the air quality does not exceed pollution standards. This year, there have been only 47.

Generally unfavorable weather conditions and man-made factors have both contributed to a general worsening of the air quality, a Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) representative told Interfax.

Despite the worsening overall situation, the city has enjoyed stretches of clean air. During the 10-day National Party Congress at the beginning of May, Beijing enjoyed nine clean air days and only one day that exceed the air quality standard.

The week following the Congress had only two clean air days.

The EPB spokesperson denied suggestions that any special measures were taken to improve air quality during the conference, citing the single polluted day as evidence. She also noted the air quality during this session was an improvement over last year's.

The 2005 National Party Congress session had three days of high pollution.

Beijing has set a blue-sky goal of 238 days for 2006, eight more days than 2005. The city will replace 8,000 aging taxis and 2,000 busses with less polluting vehicles to help meet this goal. Technorati Tags: , ,

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