Singapore has adopted World Health Organisation guidelines on air quality as a target in order to achieve cleaner air by 2020.
The new measures include stricter anti-pollution rules for vehicles, refineries and power generation companies, including a requirement stipulating that new petrol vehicles must meet cleaner Euro IV vehicle tailpipe emission standards by 1 April 2014, up from the current Euro II standard that has been in place since 2001.
Additionally, air quality monitoring efforts are being stepped up. The National Environment Agency (NEA) will now report levels of PM2.5 - very fine particles 2.5 microns in diameter or less - three times a day. Previously only annual levels of PM2.5 levels were published.
Environmental activists and think-tanks like the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) have long pressed for more air quality data and higher air quality standards.
SIIA director Nicholas Fang welcomed the new information on PM2.5 as it would raise awareness of air pollution. But he said the "trickier part of the equation" was altering people's behaviour, such as leaving car engines idling.
The full article is available here: S'pore to achieve cleaner air by 2020 [Straits Times, 24 August 2012]