China / Politics

Beijing vows cleaner air

By CAO YIN and ZHENG XIN (China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-23 00:45

Zhao, who once handled the oil leak in North China's Bohai Bay, said he does not agree with imposing a restriction on automobile use in the city, which he believes will increase car ownership without necessarily reducing pollution.

"To make sure they can travel, residents might purchase a second car when their vehicle is forbidden from using the roads" on a certain day, he said. "This can only result in the drastic increase of car ownership and a predicament over the lack of parking spaces without reducing the amount of vehicles on the road."

Beijing vows cleaner air 

Deputies take photos with their cellphones at the opening of the annual session of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, the city’s legislative body, on Tuesday. [CUI MENG / CHINA DAILY]

Car ownership in Tokyo is higher than in Beijing, but the Japanese capital still enjoys better air, which proves that car ownership and air quality is not a causal relationship, he said.

In addition, the government cannot solve the problem by imposing more inconvenience on the public, he added.

Zhao suggested the government further raise the quality of fuel, and reduce the intensity of lead and other chemicals that might pollute the air through auto exhaust.

Zhou Rong, director of the Greenpeace climate and energy project in Beijing, echoed Zhao's sentiments.

She said it is important to figure out pollutant emission sources in the capital and make a list of them.

"Only by making clear what kinds of pollutants are contributed by a certain industry can we set out a pollution reduction plan and strive to cut down the pollutant intensity," Zhou said.

However, the capital has not yet come up with a detailed list of pollution sources, she said.

She said she was glad to see air pollution has been solved in various ways, and that the city's lawmakers had put it on their agenda, "but how to carry regulations out is more important than speaking year after year", she added.

Wang Weiping, the congress deputy from the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment, said air-quality improvement should depend more on coordination among departments.

"We've so many 'big' goals and 'hard' measures to solve air pollution, such as auto control, but we lack 'soft' cooperation," he said. "The problem can't only target our environmental administration, but also other departments."

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