China sets specific targets for future smog control

Climate Change

China on Wednesday published a document outlining detailed targets in combating the problem facing many parts of the country – smog.

A 40 percent drop in the air pollution ‘PM2.5’ by 2020 from the average level in 2013 has been targeted for Beijing, Tianjin and the surrounding Hebei Province. These regions have been plagued by the unprecedented severe pollution throughout this winter.

According to officials at the National Development and Reform Commission, the goal is for the annual average reading of PM2.5 in the region to drop to 73mcg/sqm by 2017 and to 64 mcg/sqm by 2020.

China sets specific targets for future PM 2.5 control

‘PM 2.5’ stands for particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in its diameter, the size of which can be inhaled by human beings into their lungs.

The WHO dictates that the daily healthy level of PM 2.5 is 25mcg/sqm, whereas the highest figures recorded in Beijing in November nearly reached 1,000 – a level that can seriously jeopardize people’s health.

Facing such a large problem some observers think the Beijing’s target is a conservative one, but the exact sources of the pollution are still in debate, with coal consumption, vehicles and construction dust among the major causes.

China sets specific targets for future PM 2.5 control

Meanwhile, during the three-day New Year’s holiday, many cities in northern and central areas of China are forecast to experience high level of smog due to a lack of wind which can often disperse the pollution, the China Meteorological Administration said on Wednesday.

However, global tech giants have been eyeing the pollution as a growing business opportunity amid the local’s sufferings, with companies like IBM and Microsoft seeking to capitalize on the fast-growing market for forecasting air quality in China, according to Reuters.