Beijing declares war on traffic

New efforts to combat air pollution target vehicle emissions

By Lindsay Abrams
September 3, 2013 6:09PM (UTC)
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China is planning to spend an astounding $275 billion over the next five years to curb air pollution, and Beijing announced Monday that it will be taking further measures to restore some measure of fresh air to the choking city. Key among them are capping the annual growth of new vehicles on the road to nearly zero, as well as reducing total vehicle fuel consumption by at least 5 percent.

In a statement on its website, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said, "It's a war against PM 2.5" -- the fine particulate matter most threatening to human health.


In addition to promoting the sales of small and energy efficient cars and encouraging people to drive less, starting next year Beijing will start limiting the number of vehicles allowed in certain areas during certain times of day, Reuters reports. In a city where traffic flow averages 9.3 miles per hour,  according to the Wall Street Journal, Beijing is also considering a congestion fee for drivers. The Bureau wasn't clear on the specifics, but a spokesman said, "Whoever pollutes the air is responsible to clean it up."

Lindsay Abrams

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Air Pollution Beijing China Greenhouse-gas Emissions Traffic