China sets pollution targets for 2008

China aims this year to reduce sulphur dioxide by 6% from 2005 levels, Reuters reported the country's top environment official as saying on Tuesday.

The government will close many small coal-fired power plants, steel mills and cement plants to cut emissions of the acid rain-causing pollutant, reports cited Zhou Shengxian, head of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), as saying.

Zhou also said the government aims this year to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, by 5% from 2005 levels.

Sulphur dioxide and COD are two indicators of overall environmental health, Reuters noted in its report, but they do not reflect the many other chemicals that contribute to widespread pollution.

See full story