China will invest £180bn to clean up Beijing’s air

China will invest £180bn to clean up Beijing's air.

The Chinese government has promised to invest a massive £180bn to tackle the problem of smog in Beijing.

Smog is a source of increasing social discontent in China, and the new government’s five-year plan to get rid of air pollution, worth more than the total economic output of Hong Kong in 2012, shows how serious the problem is.

The money will be spent mainly in regions that have heavy air pollution and high levels of dangerous microscopic particles.
The programme was confirmed by Wang Jinnan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning.

Newspaper China Daily said the plan targets Beijing, the neighbouring port city of Tianjin and densely populated Hebei province, which surrounds them.

Beijing’s smog stems from years of industry, motor vehicles, heating and power generated from coal. It is a smear upon the country’s image abroad and makes life difficult for residents.

In March, air quality in the capital hit a new 50-year low, sending lung cancer rates soaring.

The government plans – backed by the State Council – are to reduce air emissions by 25% by 2017 compared with 2012 levels in those areas, according to the report.

However, it is thought that at least a decade has to pass before any real difference is felt.

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