Manufacturing News

Beijing to toughen vehicle pollution standards by 2017

Beijing plans to ramp up its already tough car emission standards by 2017 in a bid by one of the world's most polluted cities to improve its often hazardous air quality.

Beijing's environmental protection bureau, in a document published late last week, said the new standards would be the toughest in the world -- more stringent than the current standards that are equivalent of those used in Europe.

The document did not specify any enforcement measures, but said the standards would cut emissions from passenger vehicles and diesel trucks by as much as half.

Vehicle emissions account for 31 percent of Beijing's PM 2.5, a measure of breathable airborne pollution. The city has been at the forefront of the "war on pollution" launched by the central government last year after hazardous smog build-ups raised questions about the impact of China's industrial growth.

The environmental protection bureau said Beijing currently has more than 5.5 million vehicles, with 600,000 new vehicles introduced every year, and that half would be compliant with the new Beijing standards within five years.

Beijing already has closed three of its four coal-fired power plants, relocated dozens of industrial plants and has taken thousands of old vehicles off the road. The surrounding province of Hebei also has set targets to shut down outdated steel capacity and cut coal consumption.

Concentrations of PM 2.5 reached an average of 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing last year, significantly higher than the official state standard of 35 micrograms or the World Health Organization's recommended 15 micrograms.

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