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April 16, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

City tops nation in reducing pollution

SHANGHAI has topped the country in reducing pollution after shutting down polluting factories, building new sewage treatment plants, enhancing monitoring and giving incentives to cut discharges.

The city successfully cut the discharge of chemical oxygen demand, a major water pollutant, by 27.7 percent and sulfur dioxide, which pollutes the air, by 30.2 percent in the past five years, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

The five-year reduction in COD ranked No. 1 in the country and the cut in sulfur dioxide emissions was No. 2, following Beijing. Both reductions exceeded quotas set by the national government five years ago, officials said.

With a new five-year plan starting this year, Shanghai will keep working to reduce pollution by restructuring the economy and encouraging recycling, the bureau said.

Shanghai aims to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 3.6 percent this year, according to the city's planning agency.

The city will work out energy use guidance for government buildings, hotels, hospitals and commercial facilities as well as for the public transport sector to help improve energy efficiency, Zhou Bo, director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday at a government working conference.

In the industrial sector, Shanghai will also continue its efforts to shut obsolete capacity this year. This includes factories owned by Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical and Shanghai Huayi Group.

From this year, emissions of COD, sulfur dioxide, ammonia nitrogen (a water pollutant) and nitrogen oxides (an air pollutant) will be monitored to ensure targets are being met.

Though Shanghai has made big strides in reducing pollution in the past five years, the city still faces challenges such as haze and acid rain.

According to the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, air and water quality have improved in recent years.

More than 88 percent of the time the air quality has been either excellent or good in the past six years. Last year, 92.1 percent of days were recorded with either excellent or good air quality, the top two ratings in the city's five-level system.


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