'Most Chinese dissatisfied with smog control efforts'

Women wearing protective masks as Beijing braces for four days of choking smog on Dec 19.
Women wearing protective masks as Beijing braces for four days of choking smog on Dec 19.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • A majority of Chinese people think the government's efforts to tackle air pollution have fallen flat, according to a Blue Book report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Chronic air pollution in China has spurred renewed calls for the government to make better forecasts and act faster to clear the skies.

Beijing city this year has imposed two smog red alerts, the highest on the scale, prompting measures including school closures, traffic restrictions and factory operation limits.

According to the Blue Book of Public Service released by CASS, some 38 per cent of people surveyed said they were not satisfied or very dissatisfied with China's efforts to clean up the smog.

Another 33.65 per cent felt "so-so" and only 28.1 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied, the Global Times reported.

CASS is an academic research organisation that reports directly to the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Lhasa, the capital of Tibet in south-west China, was ranked No. 1 for its effective smog control measures with a score of 86.17, said the report which is based on 38 major cities. Several other cities, including Beijing, Changsha and Zhengzhou, were deemed to have performed poorly in this aspect.

Meanwhile, Beijing has temporarily cut natural gas supplies to the city's industrial users and required public buildings to turn down the thermostat in a sign that supplies of the cleaner-burning fuel remain fragile, Reuters reported.

Beijing's commission of city administration and environment said in a Saturday statement on its microblog that a liquefied natural gas carrier was not able to unload at port due to severe smog last Friday, leading the city to invoke emergency measures. The measures went into effect on Saturday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2015, with the headline ''Most Chinese dissatisfied with smog control efforts''. Print Edition | Subscribe