Xinhua News Agency has reported that as of December 21, Beijing
had seen 230 days with blue sky, accounting for 63 percent of total
days this year, compared to more than 62 percent for last year.
Du Shaozhong, deputy director-general with the Beijing
Environmental Protection Bureau (BEPB), was quoted by the report as
saying that although air quality in Beijing has been continuously
improved for seven years; the work of ameliorating the atmosphere
has become more and more difficult as the city size is enlarged.
Furthermore, the geographic location, landform, physiognomy and
weather of Beijing do not create good conditions for air
contamination to diffuse.
He said the bureau's target for improving air quality this year
was 63 percent blue-sky days. It’s certainly good news they’ve
finished the task before the end of the year, but the bureau is
still under pressure because they are far from reaching the aim of
a green Olympics with 70 percent blue-sky days in 2008.
In the past several years, the number of blue-sky days in
Beijing has increased by five percent year on year, sometimes even
more, but in the past two years, the annual rate of increase has
dropped to one percent. This figure does not mean the efforts of
environmental protection units are any less than before, but rather
indicates the growing difficulty of their work.
Du said this year Beijing has replaced 4,000 outdated buses and
30,000 taxis and all of the updated vehicles meet national emission
standards. However, one million vehicles have been added to the
streets of Beijing in the past three years, complicating efforts to
deal with emission pollution and demonstrating the hardships
involved with air protection work.
The report said that in 2005, relevant departments reinforced
supervision and law enforcement of various pollution
sources, making concrete contributions to the "blue sky." Up to the
end of November, the traffic management bureau and environmental
protection departments have examined 668,000 vehicles, 49,867 of
which were ordered to be repaired within a limited time for
exceeding emission standards, 9,302 were fined for the same reason,
3,560 were fined for going without an effective green mark for
environmental protection and 41,597 vehicles from other cities were
advised to go back for emission checks.
The data quoted by the report shows that up to December 21 this
year, the air quality in both the city and the suburbs has improved
in different degrees. 34 days were rated "excellent" air quality
and 196 "good" air quality, both five days more than the previous
year; 116 days were of low-grade pollution, 3 less than last year;
9 days were of middle- or heavy-pollution, 8 days less than last
BEPB is currently researching the 11th five-year guidelines on
the environmental protection and ecological construction, aiming to
further reinforce the work of preventing and curing atmospheric
pollution. The main principle of the guidelines will be to strictly
control the discharge of pollutants.
(China.org.cn by Zhou Jing, December 23, 2005)