Beijing joins neighboring provinces in controlling PM2.5

Beijing has joined five neighboring provincial regions in an initiative to cut the city’s PM2.5 pollutants, a top environmental protection official said Wednesday.

Beijing’s high reading of PM 2.5 — fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter — and poor air quality are correlated with air conditions in surrounding regions under the scheme, according to Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian.

This problem can hardly be solved by the Beijing municipal government alone, hence the joint action also involves neighboring regions including Hebei province and Tianjin city, Zhou said.

He said people are particularly attentive to PM2.5 figures because particles at this level are considered more hazardous to health than larger ones.

The official said China’s effort to cut PM2.5 is an indication that the country is now paying more attention to the environmental quality rather than the total pollutants discharged.

Xinhua