China to Work out Three-year Plan for More Blue Skies

T | T
China has planned a three-year program for more blue skies across the country.

At the National Environmental Protection Conference held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday, Chinese officials pledged detailed measures to curb pollution and improve air quality.

The country has seen more blue skies compared to five years ago. Data collected in major cities over the course of 2017 showed that they enjoyed good or excellent air quality for over 73.4 percent of the year ĘC an increase of 7.4 percentage points compared with that in 2013.

Officials pledged that in 2020, cities across China will enjoy over 80 percent of good or excellent air days.

"To achieve that goal, we need to ensure relevant departments feel the pressure and responsibility, and encourage them to be actively involved," China's Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie said at the conference. "It's like a doctor has prescribed medicine, and only after you take it can the disease be cured."

For the next three years, the battle for blue skies will focus on three major areas, namely the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and Fenwei Plain in the provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi.

Chinese authorities have rolled out measures for a structural readjustment to reduce air pollution. The government will continue to promote cleaner energy for heating purposes in northern China, and phase out the use of coal-fired boilers. Efforts will be made to reduce road transports and increase railway deliveries. Excessive emissions of diesel-powered vehicles will also be regulated.

China will also restructure its fossil fuel power stations and iron and steel factories to ensure low emissions.

Officials have highlighted a coordination mechanism between different regions to cope with air pollution emergencies.

China will also carry out stricter top-down supervision programs throughout the year, to ensure that policies are implemented properly.