Changing China

Giant on the move

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The Battle for Beijing’s Air (video)


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.