In the past month Beijing has been issued all kinds of pollution alerts. If you haven’t heard already, the latest yellow alert will be in effect until Tuesday night. And with the issuance of yet another alert, Beijingers are becoming increasingly angered about the city’s lingering smog.
The air might be getting worse and worse as we write this, but the good news is that Beijing officials are planning on putting a large chunk of money into fighting pollution this year – USD2.6 billion (RMB18.6 billion) to be exact, Shanghai Daily reports.
We will say that this plan sounds a lot better than simply sicking “smog police” on people who are barbequing outdoors.
In addition to investing billions of US dollars into solving the city’s pollution problem, officials are also aiming to bring the average density of PM2.5 down to 60 micrograms in 2017. (The average density of PM2.5 was 73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016.)
Beijing has already taken steps toward decreasing its reliance on coal. Not only will the capital shut down its last few coal factories by 2020, but Beijing also reduced its usage of the pollutant by two million tons in 2016. And in 2017, coal use will be decreased by 30 percent, which means no more than seven million tons will be used.
Furthermore 700 villages will be required to switch from coal to clean energy this year and 300,000 old, higher-polluting vehicles will be banned from the roads.
As part of the plan, the population will also be capped at 22 million this year. Six downtown districts in Beijing all experienced a negative population growth in 2016 for the first time ever, including Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan. Numerous largescale illegal buildings, 158 markets and centers and 500 manufacturing (and polluting) companies will be either relocated or torn down, which should also help the city's pollution problem.
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