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"APEC Blue" and its inspirations for China's air pollution control (No 12, 2015)


By Zhou Hongchun, Research Department of Social Development, Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC)

Research Report No 12, 2015 (Total 4697)


"APEC Blue" was a heated topic for 2014, and "keeping APEC Blue" is the desire of the country and its people who long for a better environment now that they have adequate food and clothing. The experience with controlling air quality during the Beijing APEC meeting in 2014 gives us hope and confidence in the ability to curb air pollution. Nonetheless, we can't deny the seriousness and complexity of air pollution or the amount of work and time it will take to make the sky bluer.

And, while wind can disperse the pollutants, they will accumulate somewhere later and will still bring haze if they exceed the atmosphere's limits. So, the Chinese government needs to do more to control the haze and smog through environmental standard and economic levers rather than mere administrative measures. And the country needs to do better in industrial and energy restructuring, controlling car emissions and dust from road and building construction, and in developing emissions standard as a "threshold" for industry access and a "benchmark" to get rid of outdated industries to form a system forcing industries to pay attention to air pollution. The government should also increase information disclosures, improve environmental monitoring and law enforcement and enhance regional cooperation to control emissions. It can also do better to play the role of environmental law and encourage public participation, to make "APEC Blue" normal and help the country enter into a new era of ecological progress earlier.