Beijing, China’s capital has issued its first-ever red alert for pollution today, 7th December, as a new blanket of smog descends on the city.
According to information released on Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau’s verified social media account, half of the private cars in Beijing will be ordered off the road from Tuesday morning with an odd-even number plate system in force, and 30% of government vehicles also garaged in an attempt to protect people from the deadly air.
According the state-run news agency, Xinhua, the red alert is the highest possible, and has not been used in the city before.
As part of safety measures, schools and high polluting factories as well as construction sites have been asked to shut down with bans placed on fireworks and barbecue.
The red alert is coming 1 week after a thick grey haze shrouded the capital with concentrations of PM2.5, harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs, as high as 634 micrograms per cubic metre.
The pollution which has been blamed for causing hundreds of thousands of early deaths every year in China is a source of enduring public anger in China, a country that has gone through impressive economic growth in recent times, at the cost of widespread environmental damage.
China is estimated to have emitted nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as the United States in 2013, and around two and a half times the European Union’s total.
Source: GuardianNG| BBC
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