The State Council has reportedly signed off on a comprehensive
strategy to guarantee cleaner air in Beijing during the Olympic Games.
More than 30 Canadian
citizens practice Taiji Fan on October 17 near the National
Stadium, also know as the Bird's Nest, expressing their best wishes
for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The measures include strict controls on car emissions, dust and
dirt, energy consumption and industrial emissions, which contribute
heavily to the capital's air pollution.
Up to 40 percent of the city's air pollution comes from cars
Officials from both the national and municipal environmental
watchdogs yesterday declined to confirm or deny whether the State
Council had given the new plan the green light.
A professional panel organized by the Beijing municipal
environmental bureau formulated the plan, before it got the nod
from China's environmental watchdog in July.
It was then submitted to the State Council for approval.
Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the Beijing environmental
bureau declined to comment but said an official announcement and
analysis would be made soon.
According to the plan, work on all construction sites would be
temporarily halted leading up to the Olympics to reduce dust and
dirt particles in the air during the Games.
Production will either be reduced or suspended at steel-iron
factories, chemical plants and construction materials plants, and
coal-powered plants will have to totally cease operations.
The city's estimated 3.5 million vehicles will be restricted
from driving on the city's roads on certain days, including
official business vehicles.
Zhang Jianyu, Beijing office head of US-based Environment
Defense expressed "full confidence" that the capital could achieve
better air quality next year.
(China Daily October 18, 2007)