Monday, September 2, 2013

Beijing issues new measures aimed at curbing air pollution

Reuters: Beijing unveiled yet another slew of measures on Monday to curb a choking pollution problem, including limiting the number of new vehicles on the roads and closing or upgrading the facilities of 1,200 companies. China's smoggy capital has tried everything from shutting factories to a massive subway building program as it battles a severe air pollution problem, but with little apparent effect.

The latest measures are part of a broader plan to reduce the Chinese capital's density of harmful particles in the air by at least 25 percent by 2017. "It's a declaration of war against PM 2.5," the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said in a statement on its website, referring to tiny particles in the air that pose the greatest risk to human health. "The city will work relentlessly to improve air quality."

The Chinese government has been increasingly alarmed by social unrest caused by environmental disasters and threats to public health, often the result of breakneck industrial expansion and mass migration to new cities. In the newly unveiled measures, Beijing will place tougher restrictions on the number of new vehicles allowed on the roads each year, curbing annual growth to nearly zero...

Smog in Beijing, shot by Berserkerus, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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