SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A new winter plan to curb emissions in northern China will not be enough to reverse last year’s sharp increase, official data shows, raising concerns that a weakening economy is eroding Beijing’s resolve to tackle pollution.
In an action plan for October 2019 to March 2020, China said 28 smog-prone northern cities, including the capital Beijing, would have to curb emissions of lung-damaging small particles known as PM2.5 by an average of 4% from a year ago.
Particles - Component - Smog - China - Regions
The particles are a major component of the smog that engulfs China’s northern regions over winter as people switch on coal-fired heating systems.
However, the targeted decrease is 1.5 percentage points lower than an earlier draft, and would not be enough to reverse a 6.5% surge throughout the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region over the same period last year.
Year - Jump - Authorities - Cut - %
Last year’s jump came even though authorities targeted a cut of 3%, with efforts derailed by warmer weather and an increase in industrial activity after regions were given more flexibility to devise their own anti-smog measures.
This year’s lowered ambitions mean that as many as 15 of the 28 cities could have higher levels of smog than two years ago, even if they meet their targets, said Lauri Myllyvirta, senior analyst with Greenpeace.
Environment - Ministry - Official - Week - China
An environment ministry official acknowledged last week that China’s pollution situation was still “serious”, with...
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