The density of PM2.5 in Beijing dropped by 20.5 per cent compared with the average level in 2016
After grappling with alarming levels of smog, Beijing witnessed an improved air quality in 2017 after implementation of various pollution control measures, a Chinese official said today.
The Chinese capital city, which is notorious for its smog, met its targets with year-on-year improvement of regional air quality and overall favourable meteorological conditions, the Beijing Environmental Protection Monitoring Centre said.
The average density of PM2.5 in Beijing stayed at 58 micrograms per cubic metre of air in 2017, meeting the goal set by the State Council, the official said.
"The density dropped by 20.5 per cent compared with the average level in 2016," Liu Baoxian, deputy director of Beijing environmental protection monitoring centre was quoted as saying in the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The density of hazardous particulate in the air is measured as PM2.5. According to the World Health Organisation the annual PM2.5 level should be 10 micrograms per cubic metre.
An air pollution prevention and control action plan, issued by the State Council in September 2013, mandate Beijing to reduce its PM2.5 density to around 60 micrograms per cubic metre of air by 2017 from the average level of 90 micrograms per cubic metre of air in 2013.
While the city continued to witness sporadic days of heavy pollution this winter, the Chinese capital remained mostly sunny and bright with clean air.
Beijing and several cities in northern part of China have been witnessing heavy pollution for several years due to massive industrialisation and high usage of coal besides massive expansion of automobiles.
The pollution levels in the city dropped this year as Beijing phased out more than 4,450 coal-fired stoves in 2017, reducing the capital city's coal consumption by nearly three million tonnes, local authorities said.
The move reduced emissions of 5,500 tonnes of smoke and 6,600 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said.
As part of the 2013 campaign, Beijing has phased out about 99.8 per cent of coal-fired stoves in the city and uses natural gas and other forms of clean energy.
Beijing completed 338 projects to switch coal-fired heating system with natural gas in rural areas this year, with an investment of 8.5 billion yuan (USD 1.3 billion), according to the official media.