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Smog descends on the 'two sessions' agendas
By Sun Li in Xiamen, Zhao Ruixue in Jinan, Zhang Xiaomin in Dalian and He Na in Beijing ( China Daily )
Updated: 2014-01-23

Official reckoning

On Friday, the opening day of the Shandong Provincial People's Congress, the entire province spluttered under a cloud of heavy smog. Even in Weihai, which had the best air quality among 17 cities in the province, the PM2.5 index exceeded 200 micrograms per cubic meter, far higher than the World Health Organization's safe limit of 30.

In the local government report, Guo Shuqing, Shandong's governor, stressed that Shandong will spare no effort to combat air pollution and the province must control energy consumption and gradually reduce the amount of coal it consumes.

In addition to limits on emissions from vehicle exhausts and pleas to drivers to reduce car use, Han Yanming, a member of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the CPPCC, suggested that the city of Yantai should fully utilize its abundant renewable resources, such as wind, nuclear and solar power, and that the local authorities should be judged by their response to the problem.

"The PM2.5 index should be listed as one of the important criteria to evaluate officials' performances," he said. "I thought the smog was much heavier last year than ever before. It causes obvious damage to health, and so the prevention and control of air pollution is everybody's responsibility."


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