ENVIRONMENT

China spends ¥400 million to keep tabs on pollution

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2015, 11:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 April, 2015, 11:48am

The mainland spent more than 400 million yuan (HK$505 million) monitoring pollution in 177 cities last year, according to Wu Xiaoqing, vice-minister for environmental protection.

Cars were the main source of locally generated pollution in the country's four major cities, Wu said on Wednesday at an environmental monitoring site in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

The ministry had completed analysis of atmospheric pollution in nine major cities, Wu said.

Particles from motor vehicles, industrial production, coal, and dust accounted for 85 to 90 per cent of atmospheric pollution, and cars were the main locally generated source of pollution in Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

In Shijiazhuang and Nanjing, coal-burning was the primary source of pollution. In Tianjin , Shanghai, and Ningbo, dust, mobile source emissions such as vehicles, and industrial production were the biggest culprits.

Air pollution in the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin area is notoriously bad, and Hebei, which surrounds Beijing and is China's biggest steel-producing province, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country's steel output.

According to Wu, in 2014, the mainland spent 436 million yuan on 552 state-controlled air pollution monitoring points in 177 cities. Wu admitted that some local governments had fabricated or tampered with data to relieve pressure on them, and that this had seriously damaged the credibility of the government and his ministry. The government planned to complete work on an air quality forecasting system before October, and a second round of analysis into the sources of pollution and prevention measures in 26 major cities before November, Wu said.

It has moved combating air pollution to the top of its agenda.

At the close of the National People's Congress last month, Premier Li Keqiang said progress in tackling smog and pollution had fallen short of people's expectations.