| Zhang Lijun (2nd Left), Vice Minister of Environmental Protection, Cheng Lifeng (3rd Left), Director of Environmental Impact Assessment Department, and Zhao Hualin (L), Director of Pollution Prevention and Control Department, attend a press conference of the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) focusing on strenthening environmental protection in Beijing, capital of China, March 12, 2011. (Xinhua/Yang Zongyou)|
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Beijing will apply a stricter emission standard for the city's five million motor vehicles next year to reduce automobile exhaust, the biggest source of air pollution in the Chinese capital, an environmental official said Saturday.
"Beijing will impose the national standard V for vehicle emission in 2012 ahead of schedule, which will be around the same time a similar standard is imposed in developed countries," said Zhang Lijun, vice minister of environmental protection.
Zhang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, but he did not mention the original schedule to apply the new standard.
The latest official comment on imposing the standard V came last September from Du Shaozhong, vice director of Beijing's environmental protection bureau. He only said that Beijing would impose the standard V as soon as possible.
The number of motor vehicles on Beijing's roads more than quadrupled from 1 million in 1997 to 4.76 million at the end of 2010, leading to widespread congestion and hampering the city's environmental protection.
Research has shown that more than three quarters of total air pollution comes from vehicle carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions in large cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.