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UN official hails Chinese efforts to reduce capital city’s air pollution

Updated: Dec 3,2017 7:39 AM     Xinhua

NAIROBI — An official with the United Nations environmental agency on Dec 2 hailed the Chinese government efforts in reducing the level of air pollution in Beijing.

Helena Valdes, a leading expert in sustainable development and climate change with the UN Environmental Programme, told Xinhua on Dec 2 in Nairobi that China has shown great political will and decisiveness in tackling air pollution.

“Air pollution is something that many cities in the world struggle with, but are unable to solve but China has made commendable efforts to reduce drastically the amount of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere in Beijing,” Valdes said during one of the side events of the UN Science Policy Business Forum on the Environment.

Valdes said that when China identified through scientific studies the extent of air pollution in Beijing, the Chinese capital city, it launched an ambitious program to begin cleaning the air of the city.

She said that the World Health Organization is currently monitoring the air quality of many cities including Beijing and what is clear is that the Asian city has made tremendous progress in reducing the level of pollution.

According to the UN, China has achieved success due to implementation of policies and measures that promote use of green energy sources as well as holding people accountable for delivering on the set targets.

She noted that heavy industries were relocated from Beijing while residents were encouraged to use renewable sources of energy.

Valdes, also head of the secretariat of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), said that African nations can borrow critical lessons from China’s success.

She noted that the Asian nation has used a number of incentives to promote the expansion of green industries.

“There are a number of development banks that offer financial products to encourage entrepreneurs to engage in the green economy industries,” he added.

In addition, the success of reducing the amount of air pollutants, has been underpinned by participation of all stakeholders including the public.

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