City has launched initiatives to gradually ban coal, impose a pollution fee and create “air corridors”
Struggling to check its air pollution, Beijing has taken a series of initiatives to control the problem. According to media reports, high-polluting fuels, such as coal, will be banned in key business areas of Beijing by 2020. Fuels used in vehicles will not come under the list of banned fuels.
The list of banned fuels includes fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste, biomass and other fuels which are defined as highly polluting under national regulations. The initiative will start with the Economic and Technological Development Zone in Beijing’s Daxing district, where the ban will come into force by end of this year.
According to a report published in ChinaDailyUSA, Beijing will also become the first Chinese city to impose a pollution fee on volatile organic compounds (VOC), a group of airborne pollutants. VOC includes formaldehyde, benzenes and styrene which are harmful to liver, kidney and the nervous system.VOC is a common pollutant released by the petrochemical, organic chemical and printing industry.
Beijing has also decided to preserve “air corridors”. These are large tracts of land along the direction of the winds blowing through the city and will help in scattering polluted air away. A plan to implement the idea is likely by the end of the year.
China had introduced new air quality monitoring standards in 2012. The Ministry of Environmental Protection ranks the air quality indices of 74 major cities every month. The ministry says the quality of air has improved in the 74 major cities compared to what it was in 2013, according to another report published in China Daily USA. However, only five per cent of the cities have been able to reach the standard, says the report.
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