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Posts Tagged ‘air quality’

Two articles appeared today that in their conflicting messages seem to epitomise the environmental situation in Beijing leading up the the ‘Green Games‘.

Beijing Residents in Environmental Protection‘ reads the headline of an article containing the results of a survey overseen by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). “The results showed that Beijing had the most active participation in environmental protection”, which is surely a positive reflection of the impact of the Olympics on the capital’s residents and theirway of thinking.

Meanwhile in the Wall Street Journal today (picked up by TIME) Steven Q. Andrews an experience environmental lobbiest writes from Beijing about the deterioration of the city’s air quality.

“In 2006, of the 84 major cities in China reported by the State Environmental Protection Agency, Beijing had the fewest number of days attaining the national air quality standard — and in 2007, the air quality was even worse.”

In Andrews’ words, this “raises serious questions about Beijing’s commitment to a green Olympics.”

All this on a day when the Chinese press is full of news about new legislation banning ultra-thin plastic bags, and imposing a charge for all plastic bags in shops.

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Today the TIME China blog commented on an announcement by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau that the city had been “awarded the Special Prize for Improvements to Air Quality and the third prize for Clean Transport”. It doesn’t mention who were on the judging panel…

Perhaps the judges were employing the same policy as teachers who reward troublesome students for turning up on time, or managing half their homework? Well done Beijing, keep working hard and perhaps the elite athletes of the world won’t boycott your Games!

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