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Action plan targets low-carbon transportation

China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-12 10:15
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The latest action plan on air quality emphasized the importance of a green and low-carbon transformation of transportation in the battle against pollution, aiming to shift from a focus on the administration of individual vehicles to the comprehensive management of clean transportation, said a senior official on Monday.

"Our next step is to work on the existing emission sources and reduce the emission of nitric oxide and volatile organic compounds through green transformation in the transportation sector," said Liu Bingjiang, chief engineer of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and head of the ministry's department of atmospheric environment, at a policy briefing on Monday.

Liu added that the optimization of transportation structure and the promotion of a green transportation system showcase a new opportunity for reducing PM2.5 concentrations.

The third plan to protect blue skies on the national level, the Action Plan for Continuous Improvement of Air Quality was issued by the State Council on Thursday, and provides comprehensive quantitative criteria and detailed regulations on transportation.

In terms of cargo transportation, the plan proposes prioritizing railways and waterways for long- and medium-distance transportation of bulk goods and using closed-belt corridors or new energy vehicles for short-distance transportation, aiming to change the current transportation model that heavily relies on road transportation.

China aims to have grown its volume of rail freight by 10 percent by 2025 from the level in 2020, and its volume of waterway freight by 12 percent, according to the plan.

In the main coal-producing regions of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, the government aims to increase the proportion of coal and coke transported by rail to 90 percent for distances over 500 kilometers. In key regions and major port areas along China's coastal regions, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, it is expected that clean transportation for commodities such as iron ore and coke can make up 80 percent.

The plan also set targets for clean vehicles. The government aims to have new energy vehicles account for at least 80 percent of the newly added or updated vehicles in public transportation, taxis, urban logistics and other sectors in key regions.

China will phase out gas trucks using inefficient combustion technology and crack down on the sale of oil products as engine fuel that don't meet national standards, the plan said.

It is expected that by 2025, PM2.5 concentrations in Chinese cities at the prefecture level and above can be reduced by 10 percent from 2020, the annual ratio of days with heavy pollution and above should be within 1 percent, and the emissions of nitric oxide and volatile organic compounds can be cut by 10 percent from 2020, according to the plan.

The plan focuses on three regions that have significant air pollution challenges and require targeted measures: the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its surrounding areas, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Fenwei Plain region in the Yellow River Basin.

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