China will need to spend nearly 5 trillion yuan, or $817 billion, to
fight air pollution, according to Fang Li, spokesman of the Beijing
Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection. Fang's startling estimate
came on Sept. 23 as he released the Chinese capital's antipollution blueprint, which promises significant improvements in air quality by 2017.
Beijing alone will have to fork
out $163 billion to clear its skies, according to Fang. The Chinese
capital has for many years suffered from serious air pollution, but the
smog reached record levels last winter when choking haze engulfed the
city for weeks. Forced into action by the ensuing public outrage, the
government is now unveiling its clean-air strategy as another
undoubtedly toxic winter looms.