IBM to work to curb China pollution

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IBM China pollution

A Chinese tourist wears a face mask beside the Forbidden City as heavy air pollution continues to shroud Beijing on February 26, 2014
© AFP/File Mark Ralston

Washington (AFP) – IBM said Monday it had signed an agreement to help curb pollution in China, starting with the dangerous smog that afflicts Beijing.

The US computing giant said it would launch a 10-year program called “Green Horizon” that would “support China in transforming its national energy systems and protecting the health of citizens.”

IBM said one of the first partners to come on board is the Beijing municipal government.

“The collaboration will leverage some of IBM’s most advanced technologies such as cognitive computing, optical sensors and the internet of things all based on a Big Data and analytics platform and drawing on IBM’s deep experience in weather prediction and climate modelling,” IBM said in a statement.

IBM will seek to identify the type, source and level of emissions in the city, which has long grappled with pollution and last year gained notoriety for the dangerous blanket of haze that enveloped the area.

By having access to real-time data about Beijing’s air quality, authorities will be able to take steps to either curb pollution or alert citizens more efficiently.

IBM’s effort also seeks to more accurately predict China’s energy needs to help it draw more from renewable sources and curb carbon emissions.

China’s Supreme Court has set up a special tribunal to deal with environmental cases amid rising public discontent over pollution.

Officials said last week that the number of overseas tourists visiting China’s capital fell by 10 percent last year compared to 2012, with air pollution blamed for the decline.

© AFP

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