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Country hits 7 of 9 pollution control targets in 13th Five-Year Plan

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2020-05-25 20:16
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Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu gives an interview via video link after the second plenary meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 25, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has managed to realize seven of the nine pollution control targets it set for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) by the end of last year, said Huang Runqiu, minister of Ecology and Environment, on Monday.

While the emissions of four pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand, across the country have been reduced to below targeted levels, China also has fulfilled its goals in reducing the density of PM2.5 particulate matter in cities above prefecture level and improving surface water quality across the country, he said on the sideline of the ongoing third session of the 13th National People's Congress.

The country plans to reduce PM 2.5 concentration in cities above prefecture level that fail to see the density of the pollutant below the national level of 35 micrograms per cubic meter by 18 percent from 2015 by the end of 2020. By the end of last year, the decrease had reached 23.1 percent, he noted.

Meanwhile, the country has seen the quality of 74.9 percent of its surface water at or above Grade III, the third highest in the country's five-tier water quality system, 4.9 percentage points higher than the target for 2020, Huang continued.

The proportion of water below the lowest level of Grade V in the country is expected to go down to less than 5 percent by the end of 2020. Monitoring shows, however, the proportion stood at 3.4 percent by the end of 2019, he said.

While it's challenging for the country to realize the other two targets, regarding carbon intensity and the ratio of days with fairly good air quality in cities above prefecture-level, "we are confident that we will complete it well", Huang said.

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