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Expats reconsider living in Beijing over growing pollution (3)

By Yan Shuang (Global Times)

08:17, April 18, 2013

Positive steps

The Beijing government has vowed to make greater efforts to tackle air pollution, including a "clean air pact" that aims to reduce major pollutants concentration by an average of 2 percent by the end of this year.

Experts have also called for more international cooperation on pollution control, both at the official level and via communications among environmental organizations.

Jack Marzulli, a research fellow with New York City-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) China, told the Global Times that he'll be returning to the US at the end of his one-year post with the organization's Sustainable Cities Team.

"The pollution is definitely one of the reasons that I'm not seriously considering staying in Beijing longer term," said Marzulli. "Ironically, it's also one of the reasons I moved here in the first place."

Having visited Beijing in the past, Marzulli said he wanted to be part of the effort in fighting Beijing's pollution and specifically applied for a post at the NRDC's Beijing office.

"The air pollution constantly reminds me how important our work is," he said.

There is still a lot of work to be done to improve the air quality in Beijing and the rest of China, but environmental organizations are making a lot of progress, he said, while public awareness of air pollution and other environmental issues is increasing significantly.

China has been sparing no efforts in improving air quality and curbing pollution and Japan is glad to offer its assistance to the government, companies and NGOs, said Okazaki Yuta, First Secretary of the Economic Section (Environment) at the Embassy of Japan in China.

"I'd like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to residents who suffered from heavy smog earlier this year. As the father of two children, I'm heartbroken when seeing Chinese kids getting sick because of the air pollution," said Okazaki.

He lives in Beijing with his wife and two sons, and the family has come to depend on its air purifier.

"Japan also experienced serious air pollution before, and I don't want to see more harm caused by pollution anywhere in this world," he said.

"I'd like to continue working in Beijing, hoping that our experiences, lessons and technologies can help China find a solution."

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