Beijing temporarily bans 1 million cars to reduce pollution

In China's capital Beijing, smog levels have gotten so bad that the State Environmental Protection Administration will be removing one million cars from the city's streets. The Chinese government announced this week that a partial driving ban would be in place between August 7 and 20 in a hope that Beijing's perpetual smog will disappear. A previous ban of all government cars earlier this year saw traffic jams ease and blue skies return to the capital.

The city has already spent more than $15 billion on trying to improve its air quality, especially now that the Olympic Games being hosted there are only a year away. The situation in Beijing has become so bad that officials measure the performance of their initiatives by counting how many days of blue skies they have in a year. By that measure, these initiatives are having an impact. Last year saw 241 blue sky days compared with less than 100 only ten years ago.

Considering only a handful of Chinese own cars and the fast growth of the economy, we wouldn't be surprised if this is just the beginning of drastic measures taken by the government to curb the country's pollution.

[Source: Times Online]

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