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.

via China Needs $817 Billion to Fight Air Pollution, Official Says | TIME.com.

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