Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

Beijing hit by dirty smog but observers say air is getting better

Penalties for law-breaking factories and construction sites are contributing to improved air quality in China’s capital, say academics. For Beijing’s residents, this winter brought a sense of deja vu: flights grounded by smog, air quality “red alerts” and pronouncements on the city’s latest efforts to fight air pollution. In January and February the average amount of PM2.5 – fine particles small enough to pass from the lungs to other organs – was reported to be 95 micrograms per cubic metre: up 70% from the same period in 2016. Walking the capital’s streets it doesn’t feel, or smell, like the “war on pollution”that China declared in 2014 is being won. Yet environmental academics say data taken over a wider time scale shows air quality is improving over the longer-term – partly thanks to tougher action on polluting business, particularly factories and construction sites. In February the Beijing government announced a year on year 23% hike to its environmental protection and energy efficiency budget, taking it to 33.8bn yuan (£4bn). Of this, more than half is earmarked for improving air quality. The city’s environmental protection bureau handed out fines totalling 183m yuan (£21.5m) for pollution law violations in 2015, according to state media. Beijing’s municipal government has also stepped up spot checks on polluters, with 170 companies on a watch list requiring them to have daily inspections, according to media reports at the end of last year. The ramp-up in part reflects the greater teeth given to environment officials by China’s updated environmental protection law, amended for the first time in a quarter of a century in 2014. The law gives them power to detain company bosses who don’t complete environmental impact assessments and removes limits on fines for firms that breach pollution quotas. Earlier this month, Chinese media reported the detention of a Beijing-based heating company worker for allowing pollutants to be released from his workplace. “The penalties are harsh and implementation [in Beijing] isn’t as hard to do as it is elsewhere,” says Angel Hsu, assistant professor of environmental studies at Yale-NUS College. Away from the capital, and the heart of state power, officials are more likely to prioritise local development over national policy directives on the environment, she says.

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Posted by on Apr 1 2017. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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