Tens of thousands of white-collar workers in Beijing will leave
their cars in the garage for the next four days.
The move is to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.
The "green commuter" commitment was made yesterday by a number
of industry associations, and has won wide support locally and
It was endorsed by the China association for small and
medium-sized enterprises, China Electricity Council, European
Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber
of Commerce and Beijing Electronics Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsored by the US-based Environmental Defense and others, the
commitment highlights a company's responsibility for clean air.
Michael O'Sullivan, secretary-general of the European Chamber of
Commerce, said a "no-driving" proposal letter was sent to more than
500 of its members in Beijing.
"It was good to get positive feedback from the members," he
The event is considered a key way to find out to what extent air
quality is affected by the number of vehicles.
Eighty-nine car clubs in the city have launched a campaign to
encourage 1 million of its members to follow the green commuters
More than 200,000 private car owners have promised not to drive
during the four days.
Much of Beijing's pollution is caused by vehicle emissions.
has learnt a tradable emission rights policy
is to be adopted in Beijing by the end of the year.
A source from the China Beijing Equity Exchange said assessment
system is being prepared.
Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the Beijing environmental
watchdog, said controling the number of vehicles is a way to allow
the public to gauge the relationship between personal resources and
the social resources.
"If everyone wants to grab more resources and personal
convenience, what will be left for the society?" he said.
Beijing had 3.06 million registered vehicles by the end of last
month. And the city is seeing an increase of about 1,000 vehicles
The city is exposed to about 1.3 million tons of pollutants
consisting of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides
every year, all discharged by vehicles.
As part of efforts to cut vehicle emissions before the Olympic
Games, vehicles with odd and even license plates will alternately
be allowed on the roads for the next four days, staring from
(China Daily August 17, 2007)