China hailed for pollution control effort
UN will provide the country with expertise, assist it in sharing its experience, official says
China is making progress battling pollution through effective measures like reducing coal consumption and increasing electric vehicles, which could inspire other countries, the UN environment head said.
Pollution is a huge issue in many cities in China, but governments have been tackling these issues, like closing down factories and increasing the number of electric vehicles to reduce pollution from cars, said Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Program.
He praised China as a main driver of the global environmental agenda and for taking a leading role in expanding renewable energy like wind power, and reducing coal consumption, which “all would be valuable for the other parts of the world”.
“China is making huge progress in tackling pollution in its cities and improving the quality of life for its people,” said Solheim, who attended the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high level international advisory body on environment and development.
A previous report from the UNEP in May hailed B e i j i n g ’s efforts in reducing air pollution, saying that from 1998 to 2013 the metropolis saw its population grow by 70 percent, the number of registered vehicles triple and energy consumption increase by 77 percent.
But the concentration of major airborne pollutants like sulfur dioxide decreased dramatically by 78 percent during the period, and nitrogen oxides were reduced by 24 percent, the report said.
The UNEP will continue to support China’s efforts in reducing pollution, like providing it with the expertise from other countries in this field and assisting China in sharing its experience in tackling pollution, he said.
Solheim said that some developing countries may learn from China, adding that China is not only rapidly building mass transport systems in its own big cities, but also assisting other developing nations to do the same.
Calligraphers show their works featuring the word or change, after the Chinese character of the year across the Taiwan Straits was announced in Taipei, Taiwan, on Friday. More than 7.35 million votes, a record high, were collected for the poll of the annual character, which started on Nov 8.
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Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Program