The environment in focus

26 October, 2013

From air pollution in China, to a new dam on the Mekong River in Cambodia, to oil exploration in South America, this week we take a look at environmental stories from all over the world.

Smog is thick and heavy over China. The country has a growing problem with air pollution, but will throwing hundreds of billions of government dollars at the issue make any marked difference?

This week, the northern city of Harbin was blanketed for days with choking smog, forcing schools to close and flights to be cancelled. At their peak, the pollution levels were more than 40 times that recommended by the World Health Organization. And that is just in one part of China.

The Chinese government is ring-fencing a lot of money to tackle the problem and says it will need to spend nearly $817bn just to fight air pollution.

That was part of Beijing’s anti-pollution blueprint, which promised big improvements in air quality by 2017. The capital alone will have to fork out $163bn to clear its skies. China will also need to close 1,200 polluting factories, limit the number of vehicles on the road to six million, and reduce coal usage.

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