BEIJING (AP) Leaders of Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics said Wednesday the capital’s notorious air pollution will be much improved by the time of the games.The vice president of the bid committee, Zhang Jiandong, told reporters that air quality at the rural sites for the skiing and sliding events was already very good. The problem, he said, was Beijing’s urban core where the main athletes’ village will be located, along with the indoor arenas for skating, hockey and curling.Zhang said Beijing’s urban center expects a 25 percent reduction in the very small and extremely unhealthy PM2.5 pollutants under a five-year plan begun in 2013 to close coal-fired power plants and other major polluters.”All in all, we have the confidence, the capability and the appropriate measures to constantly improve air quality in Beijing,” Zhang said.By 2017, Beijing will have reduced the amount of coal burned in the city to 10 million tons from 23 million tons in 2013 and taken whole fleets of old, polluting vehicles off city roads, Zhang said.The Beijing city government alone is devoting 48 billion yuan ($7.8 billion) to the effort and plans to close another 200 heavily polluting factories this year in addition to… Read full this story
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