Changing China

Giant on the move

The Battle for Beijing’s Air (video)

December 7, 2009

CHINA-TRAFFIC/On the first day of the Copenhagen climate change summit, Beijingers were experiencing what authorities called a ‘slightly polluted’ day.

Air quality in the capital has improved, thanks in part to the movement of factories elsewhere and new traffic restrictions first experimented with ahead of last year’s Olympics.

Official weather monitors boasted over 80 percent ‘blue sky days’ in the first half of this year – the best air quality in over a decade (though the reliability of results is disputed – see the US embassy monitor’s take on Monday’s air quality here…) 

With an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 new cars hitting the city’s roads every day, residents like Mr. He (see video) are still waiting for a breath of fresher air.

Photo credit: Reinhard Krause


Since the drivers are not likely to forsake cars for bicycles, the only way Beijing can enjoy clean air is when all the cars do not emit pollutants.

Posted by scheng1 | Report as abusive

It depends on the benchmark.

Posted by Becky.Song | Report as abusive

Beijing City’s pollution is not caused by the huge amount of private cars, but also from the emission of industrialcities around Beijing, like the heavy industry cities of HeBei and Shanxi provinces.

Only restrict the private car usage, can do little help to improve the air quality. The local govt is diverting attention from their weak and imcompetent in the problems of economy devpt.

Posted by Catfish | Report as abusive

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