China unveils plans to defeat pollution

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China A man sets up a warning sign next to a vehicle after an accident amid heavy smog after the city issued its first ever "red alert" for air pollution Reuters

BEIJING (Xinhua) – China has unveiled a guideline to comprehensively enhance ecological and environmental protection and win the battle against pollution of air, water and soil.

The guideline, published Sunday by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, specified pollution prevention and control targets the country expects to achieve by 2020 and beyond.

It will develop and implement a three-year plan to fight air pollution, with focus on regions like the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its neighbouring areas, and the Yangtze River Delta.

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By 2020, cities with low air quality standards should see their density of PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, fall at least 18 percent from 2015 levels.Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides should drop at least 15 percent from 2015 levels, while chemical oxygen demand and emission of ammonia nitrogen should decrease by over 10 percent, according to the plan.

For water quality improvement, the country will continue to implement the action plan on fighting water pollution as well as the systems of river and lake chiefs.

China aims to see over 70 percent of its surface water to be drinkable by 2020 while about 70 percent of the country’s offshore area water should be of good quality. To address soil pollution, China will implement an action plan to control soil pollution and restore polluted soil, promote classified disposal of waste and enhance prevention and control of solid waste pollution.

By 2020, about 90 percent of the polluted farmland can be utilized safely while over 90 percent of the contaminated land will be able to be used safely, according to the guideline.

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