Posted December 07, 2015 23:18:28

China’s capital has issued its very first-ever red alert for pollution, as a new blanket of choking smog was projected to descend on the city.

From Tuesday morning, half of Beijing’s private cars will be ordered off the road, with an odd-even number plate method in force, and 30 per cent of government cars also garaged.

High-polluting factories and building sites will also have to cease operations, Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau said on its verified social media account, with fireworks and barbecues also banned.

“People need to to the best of their ability lessen outdoor activities,” it mentioned.

“If you are engaging in outside activities you ought to wear a mask or take other protective measures.”

Kindergartens, principal and middle schools were urged to close, it added, without having explicitly generating the measures mandatory.

The red alert came a week after a thick grey haze shrouded the capital with concentrations of PM2.five, damaging microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs, as high as 634 micrograms per cubic metre.

The reading offered by the US embassy dwarfed the maximum suggested by the World Well being Organisation, which is just 25 micrograms per cubic metre.

Combo photo shows the difference between a clear day and a polluted day. Photo: A combo photo displaying Tiananmen Square during a clear day and a heavily polluted day. (AFP: Wang Zhao)

It also coincided with global climate change talks in Paris, where Chinese president Xi Jinping has vowed “action” on greenhouse emissions.

Most of China’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the burning of coal for electricity and heating, which spikes when demand peaks in winter and is the major result in of smog.

The concern is a source of enduring public anger in China, which has observed breakneck economic development in recent decades but at the price of widespread environmental harm.

Pollution is blamed for causing hundreds of thousands of early deaths every year.

China is estimated to have emitted practically twice as a lot carbon dioxide as the United States in 2013, and about two-and-a-half instances the European Union’s total.

Beijing has pledged that emissions will peak “around 2030”, without having saying at what level and implying a number of years of additional increases.

It has promised to lessen coal consumption by one hundred million tonnes by 2020 — a tiny fraction of the four.two billion tonnes it consumed in 2012 — and cut 60 per cent of “significant pollutants” from coal-fired energy plants, without having specifying the chemical substances in question.

On Monday evening PM2.five levels have been 206 micrograms per cubic metre according to the US embassy, and 187 according to local authorities.

But visibility was significantly better than final week.

AFP

Subjects: climate-alter, air-pollution, china, asia

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