BEIJING - Chinese provinces and municipalities in regions with heavy air pollution are to team up to combat air pollution, under a new national strategy.
The State Council announced the new strategy Monday in a circular that outlines specific measures and target regions.
The joint mechanism would help environmental protection authorities to form measures and policies based on factors concerning air pollution prevention of the larger region, rather than those of one province.
For example, the joint mechanism would monitor total emissions of air pollutants in the larger region as air pollution travels fast with wind among neighboring cities.
The measure proved effective during the 2008 Beijing Olympics when many factories in Beijing and surrounding areas were closed temporarily under government orders.
The new strategy would be first implemented in the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and the region comprising Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
As China's major economic engines, the three regions had made progress in curbing emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, but other problems like acid rain and haze had been worsening, the circular said.
The annual number of hazy days in the three regions had exceeded 100 for several consecutive years, said the circular.
In addition to sulfur dioxide, air pollutants such as nitric oxide and particulate matter would be monitored to curb their total emissions, the circular said.
Measures to prevent and control the pollution of China's 76 million vehicles were also laid out in the circular, including measures to reduce emissions of new vehicles and to scrap high-emission vehicles.