Expert praises action plan for pollution

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The central government's upcoming action plan for air pollution control will not only improve air quality but also help upgrade China's industrial structure, according to an expert.

Dense smog shrouds Beijing. [File photo] 

"Once the action plan for the prevention and control of atmospheric pollution is carried out and strictly implemented, we will witness a rapid upgrade of the industrial structure in the fields of steel, architecture, electricity and heating supply," said Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

Chai made the remarks during a forum on air pollution ahead of the closing ceremony of the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference on Sunday in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

Zhou Shengxian, minister of environmental protection, said on Saturday that the ministry is to announce an action plan drawn up by the State Council around the end of this month.

The action plan mainly focuses on the control of PM 2.5 - particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that is harmful to human health - and covers controls for overcapacity and energy structure upgrades to fight against pollution, Zhou said.

He also emphasized the importance of clean energy.

The State Council outlined 10 measures to fight air pollution, including a vow to reduce emissions in heavily polluting industries by at least 30 percent per unit of GDP by the end of 2017.

Chai from the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences said, "The action should involve more punitive measures ... as current financial penalties have barely deterred pollution companies."

Jeffery D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said at the closing ceremony on Sunday that sustainable development requires good governance.

Dedicated to the promotion of green industry, green urbanization and green consumption, this is the first national-level forum on ecological construction, and it has attracted experts and scholars from around the world.

Zhang Xinsheng, head of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and secretary of the Global Eco-Forum, said the forum has played a significant role in shaping the global agenda on sustainable development.




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