BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- China has set aside 49.7 billion yuan (about 7.5 billion U.S. dollars) for supporting environmental protection this year, an official said Thursday.
So far, 39 billion yuan has been handed out for air, water and soil pollution control, said You Yanxin, an official with the planning and finance department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, at a press conference.
According to You, 16 billion yuan of the central financing is reserved for supporting air pollution control efforts in 13 provincial-level regions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the neighboring areas, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.
You said the central government's spending on the same purpose has topped 27.2 billion yuan since the start of the 13th Five-Year-Plan period (2016-2020), which has played an important role in improving air quality in key areas.
The central government has also earmarked 8.5 billion yuan for combating water pollution and 6.5 billion yuan for soil pollution control.