Last Friday the state council had a press conference, introducing the revised Ambient Air Quality Standard, as part of efforts to strengthen overall air pollution control.
The challenge to clean up the air is huge and urgent. Although the final deadline to implement the new standard set by MEP is 2016, local governments must not think they can take their time. Tackling air pollution is an extremely huge and time-consuming task. They have to get started now.
According to the MEP, two thirds of China's cities fail the new air quality standard. That's how bad it is. Since governors will be judged for whether they meet the air quality standard in 2016, they have more than enough incentive to act quickly.
A key move to take is reducing coal consumption. China's over-reliance on coal is one of the dominating cause of air pollution. The local governments must phase out dirty industries and move away from coal as fast as they can.
Image © Natalie Behring / Greenpeace
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