Beijing budgets billions of yuan in effort to clean up air - ENVIRONMENT - Humanrights

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Beijing budgets billions of yuan in effort to clean up air
March 20,2017   By:China Daily
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March 20, 2017 -- A worker hangs ornaments at the Ming Dynasty City Wall Ruins Park under a blue sky in Beijing this month. LIU PING/CHINA DAILY
 
Measures to cut coal consumption, number of vehicles prove effective
 
March 20, 2017 -- Beijing will expand funding to reduce air pollution in 2017, including phasing out hundreds of thousands of automobiles and replacing coal furnaces in hundreds of villages, the municipal government said.
 
So far in March, more than 10 days of clear, blue skies have been recorded. There were 198 such days last year and 186 in 2015, according to the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
 
In addition, the number of days with severe air pollution mainly due to a high concentration of PM2.5-particulate matter of 2.5 microns deemed dangerous to human health-fell to 39 last year, down from 46 in 2015, 47 in 2014 and 58 in 2013.
 
PM2.5 is used as a major index to record the concentration of the six major airborne pollutants.
 
"Beijing saw its average PM2.5 level lowered to 73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, a year-on-year decrease of 9.9 percent," said the capital's mayor, Cai Qi, giving credit to existing measures such as reducing coal consumption and the number of vehicles.
 
Data from the environmental protection bureau showed the capital cut PM2.5 levels by 19 percent from 2013 to 2016, said Zhang Dawei, director of the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center.
 
Beijing will take tougher measures in 2017.
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