Seoul Metropolitan Government said Tuesday that it will cooperate with Chinese municipalities to improve the air quality here amid public concerns over ultrafine dust coming from the neighboring country.
Seoul will sign memorandums of understanding with cities in China to boost cooperation in sharing air quality-related technology and policies. The regions involved include the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Tianjin, as well as Shandong province. It will later join hands with Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, as well.
“At least 30 to 50 percent of the ultrafine dust here originates from neighboring countries. International cooperation is crucial to control ultrafine dust,” said Jang Hyug-jae, the chief of the climate and environment headquarters at Seoul.
Based on the MOUs, Seoul will build an international consultative body with Chinese municipalities to expand collective efforts in sharing successful policies.
The first MOU will be inked with Beijing around March.
Under the new plan, Seoul aims to lower the average concentration of ultrafine dust to 18 microgram per cubic meter in ten years. The average level of last year stood at 25 microgram per cubic meter.
The city’s decision to draw up the new plan was largely prompted by the continuous inflow of ultrafine dust from China in recent weeks, officials said.
The city issued ultrafine dust alerts twice earlier this month as the atmospheric concentration levels of “particulate matter 2.5” pollutants exceeded the 85 micrograms per cubic meter threshold for more than two hours.
The city government launched the nation’s first ultrafine dust alert system last year.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org)