China tries to keep a lid on air pollution for APEC Summit

China tries to keep a lid on air pollution for APEC Summit

China tries to keep a lid on air pollution for APEC Summit

China plans to keep a tight rein on air and water pollution by cutting emissions from vehicles and industries when it hosts leaders of 21 APEC nations including US President Barack Obama early next month.

"Beijing will make every effort to prepare for the APEC meeting and we need to control air and water pollution," said Guo Jinlong, the city's Party chief.

The measures, aimed at improving air quality for 10 days during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting starting November 3, came as the capital has been hit by severe pollution in recent days.

The situation is forecast to remain until tomorrow as the municipal authorities yesterday raised the smog alert to orange, second-highest level before red.

The city will restrict the use of private vehicles based on even/odd-numbered license plates, reducing its use by 35 per cent, the municipal traffic committee said yesterday.

The measures are similar to those introduced from July 20 to September 20 in 2008 during the Beijing Olympic Games.

Vehicles transporting construction waste and dangerous chemicals will be barred from the capital's roads during this period. The restrictions will not apply to buses, taxis and other vehicles such as police cars, state-run China Daily reported.
"The number of passengers using public transport will increase by 3 million a day," Li Shaoming, deputy director, Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, said.

During this period, 400 additional buses will be used to transport commuters to meet the increased demand.

Zhuang Zhidong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said that from November 3, production at some companies listed by the government will be suspended for 10 days.

"Work will also be suspended at all construction sites and on demolition projects during this period.

"More important, Beijing will work with its neighbouring provinces to control emissions," Zhuang said, adding that six governments will hold regular discussions on air pollution.

Media reports said that between November 7 to 12, employee departments, institutes and social organisations in Beijing can observe holiday, except for bureaus dealing with the APEC meeting and city management.