Committed to making Beijing skies a little cleaner and bluer,
approximately 30 companies yesterday made a pledge to encourage
their employees to be "green commuters" by using public transport
instead of driving into work.
The campaign is the brainchild of US-based non-profit
organization Environmental Defense and its Chinese partners.
Companies that have pledged their support include oil giants BP
and Shell, as well as the China Electrical Council.
Daniel Dudek, chief economist of Environmental Defense, said the
actions of individuals are as important as government efforts in
protecting the environment.
"Today's commitment to becoming a green commuter contributes to
Beijing's clean air, energy saving and Green Olympics efforts."
He also linked commuters' actions to the county's target of
cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent from 2005
"It is hard to imagine, but driving less and taking public
transport more will help fulfill the national ambition," he told
China Daily at the launch ceremony yesterday.
Taking the subway and bus should be encouraged, and are "easy
steps to take by individuals".
The initiative is part of Environmental Defense's Clean Air
Campaign, which also includes air quality sampling, laboratory
analysis, releasing environmental information, and establishing a
public information exchange platform.
"All sub-projects are based on scientific research and public
participation and that is an effective approach to solving
environmental problems," Dudek said.
Statistics show that vehicle emissions have a huge negative
impact on Beijing's air quality.
From January to May this year, there were 13 fewer "blue sky"
days than in the same period last year.
Huang Haoming, secretary-general of the China Association of NGO
Cooperation (CANGO), which is a co-organizer of the campaign, said
that his organization would mobilize more civil organizations and
companies for joining its network and participating in the
"Green Commuter" campaign. Currently, CANGO has more than 120
member organizations nationwide.
"We hope that our campaign can be included into the government's
environmental agenda. This will make it much easier to implement,"
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau has
previously forecast that if all the registered 2.62 million
vehicles in Beijing stopped running for just one day every month,
pollutant levels would be cut by 44,000 tons in one year.
Wang Yue, director of China International Center for Economic
and Technical Exchanges, said he and his 63 employees were
committed to the project.
"I came to this event by subway. I'm going to take the lead in
using public transportation."
However, the city's number of cars continues to increase by 10
percent every year, which poses an immense challenge for campaign
(China Daily June 2, 2006)