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Beijing has a pollution problem, but that's not surprising since most major cities across the globe battle with dense smog on a regular basis. However, the Chinese capital will take a dramatic step towards reducing pollutants by imposing Level V emissions standards in 2012. While speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, Zhang Lijun, the country's vice-minister of environmental protection, announced that:
Beijing will impose the national standard V for vehicle emission in 2012 ahead of schedule, which will be around the same time a similar standard is imposed in developed countries.
Beijing's decision to move to the stricter Level V (based on Euro 5 guidelines) emissions standards will likely reduce air pollution substantially, according to Chinese environmental officials. The number of vehicles on Beijing's roads exceeds five million and some studies claim that more than three quarters of all the air pollution in the city spews from those tailpipes. So, if the autos pollute less, the smog should diminish.

[Source: Xinhuanet | Image: David Barrie – C.C. License 2.0]


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      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree. The pollution isn't really all that much due to cars. Also, unless they remove old cars from the road, it won't make a big difference. Yeah, new cars are cleaner, but those VW Santanas will still be spewing massive amounts of pollution into the air.

      Not to mention the Diesel trucks that don't seem to be anywhere near modern standards. They are emitting a ton of particulates.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am not too sure about the pollution in Beijing being primarily due to cars. I have spent time there both in the the summer and the winter and it seems like there are 3 drivers of the pollution level. First there are the cheap, old coal power plants that ring the city with almost no scrubbers. Then there are the older cars/taxis. Then there is the grit that blows down from the Gobi. I have no idea what the share of the perceived pollution per source, but if I had money on it, I would bet on the coal plants as being the worst polluter.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In Beijing (or Shanghai) you do not see any 10 or 15 year-old cars. People who can afford cars in Beijing would never be seen driving something so old.

      In Shanghai the VW Santana taxis only last 2-3 years before they are shipped out and sold to rural areas, and in Beijing almost all of the taxis are much newer design Hyundai's.
      So although the Santanas look old, those in the big cities are mostly recently manufactured.

      Given that they are selling more new cars in China than in the USA, and most of those sales are in big cities, this new emission requirement could be significant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As much as the power plants and other sources create, pretty sure the 5 million cars would top them.
      Really the only way you can effectively combat this is by making new cars better, over the course of 10 to 15 years most of the old cars will disappear of their own accord and if they haven't then regulate them.
      Good to see China facing up to this and takling it by adopting a proper scheme, really easy considering the Europeans have already done all the ground work and research and all you have to do is adopt an existing standard, there really is no excuse for other smog polluted cities/states not to do this, well unless they live in a country where lobby groups can somehow make it illegal for them to do so...