Beijing, Mar 30 (PTI) China, the world’s biggest polluter, will start the second national census of pollution sources this year after a gap of 10 years, its Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced today.

“The census marks the fundamental work of the country’s environmental protection,” Hong Yaxiong, the director of the office in charge of the census, told media.

The major pollution sources will be archived and put into database, as part of the evidence for policy makers to monitor and improve environment as well as prevent risks, the state- run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

The work to investigate the scale, structure and distribution of pollution sources will be completed this year and the results will be made available next year.

A preliminary survey has found about 7.4 million industrial and one million agriculture pollution sources, as well as mounting residential sources, it said.

China had published the results of the first national census in 2010, which targeted nearly six million industrial, agricultural and residential sources and centralised pollution control facilities, collecting 1.1 billion items of basic data.

After decades of reliance on heavy manufacturing resulting in massive air-pollution, China is investing heavily in the last few years in green technologies and closing down heavy polluting industries.

Beijing, which used to be under the thick blanket of smog during the most of the winter in the past, experienced more clear skies during the outgoing winter season, which officials say is the result of crackdown on polluting sources.

At 27.2 per cent, China is the biggest emitter of carbon in the world followed by the US (15.6 per cent) and India (6.3 per cent), according to international nonprofit organisation Global Footprint Network.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.