CHINA SETS 2020 TARGET FOR CLEAN AIR IN BIG CITIES
China aims to provide clean air in its largest cities for 80% of each year, or more than 9-1/2 months, by 2020, up from a figure of 76.7% last year, the country's cabinet announced today. Amid concern that pollution was stirring social unrest, China launched a campaign in 2014 to revitalize its tainted air, water and soil, which have been ravaged by more than three decades of breakneck industrial growth. Reuters reported that the clean air goal for 338 cities was laid out in a five-year development plan on ecological and environmental protection that said China would push structural reforms to cut excess capacity in polluting industries. "With the downward pressure on the economy increasing, the contradiction between development and protection has become more prominent," the cabinet said. Under the plan, authorities in Beijing, the capital, its neighboring city of Tianjin and the northern province of Hebei along the Yangtze River economic belt will draw up eco-protection "red lines" by the end of 2017. Other provinces and cities will have to draw up such "red lines" by the end of 2018. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-environment-idUSKBN13U0ZG.