China pledges to meet air quality standards by 2035
Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie attends a news conference during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China October 23, 2017. Photo: Reuters
China will strive to cut the concentration of PM2.5 hazardous fine particle matter to 35 micrograms per cubic meter by 2035 from 47 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, the country’s environment minister said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China, Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie urged the public to be “patient” when it came to improving air quality, and said a strengthened environmental protection system would eventually benefit the country’s economic development.
"It will be very difficult to reach the goal, and we need to make greater efforts to achieve it," Li said. 
“We understand that current air quality fails to meet people’s expectations,” he said. “People should be patient about improvements in air quality improvement as it will take time to solve such a big problem.” 
Beijing will impose tough production curbs this winter to cut hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by at least 15 percent in 28 smog-prone northern cities.
“We are fully aware of the problems we are facing,” Li told reporters.
“Coal accounts for a high proportion of the overall energy mix,” he said. Also, “we have too many commodities transported by trucks. Some companies avoid emission control measures. Some local governments are not enforcing measures from the central government,” Li said.
PM2.5 density measures the concentration of small, breathable particles in the air and is often used as a gauge for smog.
Li praised the achievements in air pollution control since the country rolled out a major policy on air pollution in 2013.
From 2013 to 2016, the density of PM10 in the 338 cities nationwide monitored by the ministry dropped 15.5 percent, with the density of PM2.5 falling 33 percent, 31.3 percent and 31.9 percent in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas, respectively, he said.
By 2020, the percentage of good air quality days must reach 80 percent across the 338 cities, the minister said.

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