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Extraordinary measures needed to hit Beijing's air quality targets: report

BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) said Tuesday that despite improved air quality, Beijing has to take extraordinary measures to meet the targets set by the country in 2013.

In a report on the implementation of the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, the CAE said although air quality in Chinese cities have improved in general, the situation is still severe.

Issued in September 2013, the Action Plan was created by the State Council and set a number of key targets, such as building monitoring stations for PM2.5 in all prefecture-level cities by 2015 and cutting coal consumption to 65 percent of total energy consumption by 2017.

The CAE said in the report that PM2.5, PM10, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants have dropped year on year in all cities, and the number of days with heavy air pollution dropped in most cities.

However, winter air pollution is serious, and ozone pollution is emerging in some areas, said the report, adding that annual average density of PM10 in seven provincial regions has risen.

Beijing faces a great challenge if it wants to achieve the goal for annual average PM2.5 density to drop to 60 micrograms by 2017. Only through extraordinary measures can the target be achieved, the report said.

The report suggested that pollution treatment in southern suburbs of Beijing be strengthened, along with tougher measures in autumn and winter and strict control of diesel emissions.

(From Xinhua, 2016-07-05)