Beijing's air quality will be greatly improved after air
pollution control measures take effect and construction works are
finished ahead of next year's Olympics, said an environmental
expert in Beijing Tuesday.
"Many scheduled measures on pollution control and prevention are
being carried out and will continue next year, which will give
Beijing more blue skies and cleaner air," said Zhu Tong, one of the
expert panel for Olympics air quality protection and also a
professor of the environment science and engineering school at
Zhu attributed about 40 percent to 50 percent of the major
pollutants in air -- nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and inhalant
particulate matter -- to vehicle exhaust emissions.
About 1.3 million cars were banned from the city roads from
August 17 to 20 each day to test the effect on air quality for the
The densities of major pollutants were reduced by an average 20
percent during the test, according to a report by the China
National Environmental Monitoring Center.
The success of the "car ban" has prompted the municipal
government to write it into the "measures to protect air quality
for the 29th Olympic Games" that the government is stipulating,
according to Zhu.
"Next year the municipal government will step up efforts in
reducing the emissions from motor vehicles," said Zhu.
The many construction sites in Beijing also contribute dust
particles to the air. But with most of them finishing next year,
the amount of dust particles must be cut by a large margin, Zhu
Beijing Shougang Group, China's leading steel manufacturer, has
pledged an output reduction of more than 70 percent from next July
to September to ensure the Olympics can enjoy better air
Before and during the Olympic Games, no coals will be allowed to
use within the Third Ring Road and the amount of coal-fired
electricity generation will also be reduced.
During the Games, the municipal government will carry out
tighter restrictions on construction works, steel and chemical
plants to ensure good air quality.
More than 1,400 gas stations and 1,200 tankers will have been
modified by next May so that the petrol can be stored there with
the minimum amount escaping to the air, with the result that people
will smell nothing pungent around gas stations.
A total of 1,100 gas stations have received notices that they
must convert in order to become more environmentally friendly.
"We have been in talks with the city's commercial bureau to
suspend those gas stations that refuse any modification," said Du
Shaozhong, deputy head of Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau,
without indicating what the results of the talks were.
By 2006, Beijing had spent 9.7 billion yuan, 3 percent of its
GDP, on environmental protection since it won the bid to host the
Games in 2001. According to the monitoring results on air
pollutants, the density of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and
dust particles in 2006 had dropped by 23 percent, 8 percent and 19
percent compared with that of five years ago.
(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2007)