lmost all big Chinese cities’ air below standard

Almost all big Chinese cities’ air below standard, says offical

POSTED: 08 Mar 2014 20:42
Air quality was below national standards in almost all of China’s major cities last year, a top environment official said on Saturday, after Premier Li Keqiang pledged to “declare war” on pollution.

BEIJING: Air quality was below national standards in almost all of China’s major cities last year, a top environment official said on Saturday, after Premier Li Keqiang pledged to “declare war” on pollution.

Only three out of the 74 cities monitored by the government met a new air quality standard, said Wu Xiaoqing, a vice minister of environment protection.

The standard lists limits on a string of pollutants including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and airborne particles.

It caps the average 24-hour exposure to PM 2.5 — small particles which easily penetrate the lungs and have been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths — at 75 microgrammes per cubic metre for residential areas, three times the World Health Organization’s recommended safe limit.

Even so, the only major cities to meet the standard were the Tibetan capital Lhasa, Haikou on the southern island province of Hainan, and Zhoushan on the coast of Zhejiang, Wu said.

“The lingering smog again showed that our country’s air pollution is extraordinarily severe,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s Communist Party-led parliament.

“Emissions of those pollutants were so huge they went beyond the level the environment can bear,” he said.

China’s heavy and chemical industries, its reliance on coal as its main energy source, rapidly growing car emissions and widespread urban construction were the main causes, he added.

Emissions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area in northern China, the Yangtze river delta in the east and the Pearl river delta in the south were five times the national average, Wu said.

The three regions account for eight per cent of China’s land area but use up 43 per cent of the nation’s total coal consumption and produce 30 per cent of its major pollutants, he said.

The Chinese public have been increasingly angered by the severe environmental consequences of the country’s rapid industrialisation, among them smog, land laden with heavy metals, and chemically contaminated waterways.

Li on Wednesday said in his speech to the NPC that the government would “declare war” on pollution as he sought to address the worries.

The government will shut down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces this year, clean up major coal-burning power plants, and remove six million high-emission vehicles from the roads, he said.

A cap will be put on the country’s total energy consumption, he said, without giving a figure.

Chinese authorities have repeatedly pledged action to improve the environment in recent months, but experts warn that implementation will be key.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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