Letters to Editor
Business & Trade
Culture & Science
Policy Making in Depth
News of This Week
Learning Chinese
Asia Make Efforts to Control Acid Rain

Asian environmental groups urged the world to unite to combat the increasing problem of acid rain at a meeting in Beijing yesterday.

Due to Asia's progressive industrialization, environmental experts estimated by 2020 sulfur dioxide emissions in East Asian will triple the 1990 level - amounting to 75 million tons - if present energy and environmental policies remain unchanged.

Officials and experts from 11 Asian countries, Russia and the United Nations expressed their concerns in the capital at a two-day international workshop on public awareness for acid rain.

Xu Zhenglong, secretary-general of the China Forum of Environmental Journalists, urged the public in Asia to co-operate in conquering "the devil in the air."

"Increasing energy utilization will probably result in Asia having the most serious acid rain pollution in the world," Xu said in his keynote speech at the workshop, co-organized by his organization and a Japanese environmental science research body.

Acid rain, an urgent and critical global environmental problem, has already caused extraordinary damages to the developed Europe and North America, Xu said.

Sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide, released into the atmosphere by the combustion of fossil fuels, are transformed into sulfuric and nitric acids respectively by a complex series of chemical reactions, and removed from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface by both wet (rain, snow) and dry (gas, aerosol) deposition processes.

The resulting acid rain causes serious environmental damage to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, cultural properties and buildings.

Statistics show acid rain has covered 30 percent of Chinese territory, expanding from the southwest regions in early 1980 towards southern China, causing acid rain in 61.8 percent of cities in the areas.

Xu said China has outlined an ambitious plan to control the problem. By 2005, total emissions of sulfur oxide are expected to be reduced by 10 percent compared with that in 2000.

Yesterday's workshop was also a platform to exchange experiences in acid rain control.

Munetsuga Kawashiwa, with Japan's Shiga University, said his country has continuously made efforts to improve the public's environmental awareness and started environmental courses (compulsory education) in all schools since the 1980s.

Sergey A. Gromov, general coordinator with Russia's Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, suggested that non-governmental organizations, ecological foundations and scientists should play a larger role in coping with the global environmental problem.

(China Daily February 22, 2002)

Tibet Free From Acid Rain
Sino-Japanese Joint Efforts to Control Acid Rain
China Fighting Acid Rain and Sulfur Dioxide
Spring Fishing Ban on China's Largest Freshwater Lake
Clean up Efforts Need Technology, Senior Official Says
China Establishes First Air Quality Background Monitoring Station
State Environment Protection Administration
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68996214/15/16