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Beijing to clean sky for 2008 Olympic Games
( 2003-07-07 14:02) (Xinhua)

Beijing has drafted a new five-year plan to clean up its environment and reduce air pollution by 2008, when it will host the Olympic Games.

The city government has drafted a plan on environmental protection for the 2003-2007 period, aiming to improve the overall environment and ensure an ideal environment for the 2008 Olympics, said the city's Vice Mayor Liu Zhihua on July 2 at a national meeting on pollution control in key areas.

Air pollution resulting from the use of coal as an fuel, auto emissions and dust from construction sites are the leading environmental problems in Beijing, according to Liu.

One step towards the set goal is to reduce dependence on coal. By 2007, the city plans to supply 5 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually, pipelined from China's western regions, compared with 1.8 billion Beijing consumed last year, Liu said. Other measures to reduce coal consumption include increasing electricity production and using clean energy.

Stricter standards on auto emissions will also be introduced in the year 2005. The city's emission standards are now in line with those adopted by European Union countries in 1996.

Beijing, with a population of 13 million, will expand its public transportation network to include a 200-kilometer track transportation system and some 18,000 buses, Liu said.

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