Environmental projects expected to improve quality of life for city's residents - ENVIRONMENT - Humanrights

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Environmental projects expected to improve quality of life for city's residents
June 27,2017   By:China Daily

June 27, 2017 -- Beijing municipal government has focused its attention on clean energy development, improving water treatment and garbage disposal, and other environmentally friendly initiatives in recent years, said Fang Li, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

Beijing has invested more than 250 billion yuan ($37 billion) in 133 environmentally focused projects, with an average annual growth rate of 10 percent for funds dedicated to environmental projects in the last five years.

The government aims to improve local peoples' sense of fulfillment and well-being by promoting the environment protection and development, including solving the problem of air pollution, Fang added.

The capital proposed a Five-Year Clean Air Action Plan (2013-17) to improve air quality by taking measures such as cutting coal consumption and promoting the use of clean energy in the public transport system.

The city saw its average PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) level lowered to 73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, a decrease of 23.7 percent compared with 2013, according to the environmental protection bureau.

This year, Beijing will reduce its coal consumption to less than 7 million metric tons. The coal consumption for industrial production and heating will be cut by 30 percent.

The municipal government plans to spend 18.2 billion yuan this year on stronger pollution-control measures, the Beijing Finance Bureau said. In 2014, the special allocation for air pollution control was 12.9 billion yuan.

The State Council released its Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and Control in 2015 to tackle serious water pollution, aiming to intensify government efforts to reduce emissions of pollutants and to protect supplies.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Environmental Protection have called for the authorities to cut more than 40 percent of the amount of "black and smelly water" in built-up urban areas in 2016 and totally eliminate it by the end of this year.

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