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Air Quality Control Included into the Report on the Work of the Government of 30 Provinces and Cities
By Jan. 27, 2016, all of the work reports by the governments of 30 provinces and cities, which were delivered at the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), have included content about enhancing works concerning air pollution prevention and control, and several provinces and cities have made commitments for “making the sky more blue.” In addition, areas including Hebei and Beijing clarified their quantitative goal for the reduction of pollutant emission in 2016 and during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

In 2013, the State Council of China issued the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, which determined a “red line” for the PM 2.5 control in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, Yangtze River Delta Region, and the Pearl River Delta Region: by 2017, the PM 2.5 density in these regions should drop by 25%, 20%, and 15% respectively. In addition, at the NPC and CPPCC for local areas in 2016, the governments of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei have presented their achievements in air pollution control during the 12th Five-Year Plan. The average PM 2.5 concentration in Hebei Province dropped by 28.7% compared with 2013, which means that the national target of dropping by 25% in the province was reached in advance; in Tianjin, the PM 2.5 concentration level in 2015 dropped by 27.1% compared with 2013; and in Beijing, the average PM 2.5 in 2015 was 80.6 microgram/m3, 10% lower than in 2013 when the monitor firstly started.

In Yangtze River Delta Region, the average PM 2.5 concentration in Jiangsu Province in 2015 was 58 microgram/m3, 20.5% lower than 2013; in Zhejiang Province in 2015, the average PM 2.5 concentration in districting cities dropped by 11.3% on year-on-year basis, and dropped by 23% compared to 2013; and in Shanghai, the average PM 2.5 concentration in 2015 reduced by 14.5% compared to 2013. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the environmental air quality in Yangtze River Delta Region is on track for the general improvement.In Guangdong Province and the Pearl River Delta Region, the average PM 2.5 concentration in 2015 was 34 microgram/m3, reaching the Level II of the national standard and dropping by 25.5% compared with 2013. The national goal for the area was achieved two years in advance.

Among all the governmental work reports, Hebei Province has shown its strong determination in controlling air pollution with the longest length, and a “letter of challenge” has been written down: during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the PM 2.5 concentration will be reduced by 40% compared with 2013, and cities with severe pollution will strive to leave the last 10 positions in national air pollution ranking. Beijing put forward their goal of reducing the PM 2.5 concentration by 5% in 2016. And Shanghai announced that by 2020, the PM 2.5 concentration in the city would be reduced to around 42 microgram/m3. 

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