China makes headway in fighting pollution: minister

Updated 2017-12-11 10:03:15 Xinhua

China has made remarkable achievement in its fight against pollution, improving the quality of air, soil and water, Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie said on Sunday.

China has put in place the world's largest clean coal-fired power generation system over the past five years by completing the "ultra-low emission" transformation of coal-fired power plants with combined capacity of 640 million kilowatts, 68 percent of the country's total installed capacity of coal-fired generating units, Li said at a meeting in Beijing.

The transformation has resulted in 83 percent decrease in sulfur dioxide emission, 50 percent cut in nitrogen oxides, and 67 percent reduction in smoke dust, Li said.

The central government unveiled a five-year national clean air action plan in 2013, aiming to improve air quality through measures such as closing factories, limiting cars and replacing coal with clean energy.

In the first eleven months of 2017, the final year of the action plan, 338 Chinese cities saw a combined 20.4-percent reduction in PM10, compared to that in 2013. The PM2.5 levels in three main metropolitan areas: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta were down 38.2 percent, 31.7 percent and 25.6 percent respectively, Li said in early December.

For the period, the density of PM2.5 in Beijing declined 25.6 percent to about 60 micrograms per cubic meter, he added.

The government also took effective actions in other fields, Li said.

In 2015, the country released its action plan for water pollution prevention and control, aiming to reduce pollutants, improve drinking water and promote water conservation by the end of 2020.

In 2016, an action plan on tackling soil pollution in China was released by the State Council, aiming to improve soil quality and ensure safe agricultural products and a healthy living environment.

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