Asian boom undercuts pollution cleanupBy MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental WriterThu Dec 14, 5:25 PM ET
Asia's economic boom has caused a surge in car and motorcycle sales, undercutting efforts to promote public transport in the region and clean up its dirty skies, delegates told a pollution conference Thursday.
While some Asian governments were praised for toughening vehicle emission standards, and most have phased out leaded gasoline, many of the region's big cities are doing little to enforce laws or establish effective bus and train networks, they said.
"Transport is growing faster in most cities so transport emissions are a big part of the problem," Lew Fulton, a transport expert with the U.N. Environmental Program, told the three-day Better Air Quality Conference 2006 in Yogyakarta.
The meeting — one of the biggest air quality conferences in the region — comes at a time when Asia has begun to address the bad air that has resulted from double-digit economic growth rates, especially in India and China. Soot from coal-fired power plants, greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and haze caused by slash-and-burn land clearing activities have all helped turn the region into the world's most polluted.
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