Beijing to plant millions of trees against smog

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Beijing will start planting trees between its fifth and sixth ring roads from March, covering 200,000 mu (13,333 hectares) of land this year, the city's top official said on Thursday.

Fog harms Beijing air on Jan. 10 2012. The city begins publishing hourly air quality data. [Xinhua]

Fog harms Beijing air on Jan. 10 2012. The city begins publishing hourly air quality data last week. [Xinhua] 

To improve the city's air quality, Beijing is estimated to plant millions of trees and take up an expanded area of 1 million mu (66,667 hectares) by the end of 2014, said Chen Gang, the city's Deputy Mayor, at the 5th session of the 13th Beijing Municipal Congress on Thursday.

A series of measures combating the city's serious environmental pollution were set forth at the meeting. Besides the ambitious forestation plan, Beijing will also promote more stringent emission standards, improve fuel oil quality, and strengthen the control of dust at construction sites and so on.

Beijing last week reported a decline in PM2.5 density during the past decade. The number – 70 to 80 micrograms per cubic meter – is still double the standard 35 micrograms set by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, though.

The city's latest anti-pollution efforts are being directed at updating air quality monitoring. Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and PM10 in the city are being monitored by 27 stations of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center which releases and updates the data hourly on its website and micro blog.

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