The Chinese capital of Beijing struggles with massive air pollution caused mainly by coal use for winter heating. As a consequence, a deep layer of smog covers Beijing’s sky, making great numbers of victims. In their efforts to clean the air and reduce the pollutant factors, the Chinese authorities created a smog police, meant only to deal with environmental issues.
Beijing’s mayor Cai Qi answered a few questions on the smog police. It will not allow open-air barbecues, the incineration of garbage or biomass burning. The patrol will now enforce some environmental regulations that have not been respected so far.
Even though China has been fighting air pollution for almost three years, on New Year’s Day, several cities in Northern China found themselves covered in smog. The air quality was alarming in cities like Beijing, Tianjin, and Xian, therefore people were forced to stay inside.
The smog which engulfs many Chinese cities caused trouble not only to the people’s health. Many flights were interrupted, activities in ports were disturbed and schools were closed. Now, with the establishment of smog police, The Chinese government intends to make better use of the laws and regulations regarding environmental protection and take legal action against companies that produce exceeding limits of gas emission.
Although China has improved greatly the environmental policy, the process was slow. It was hard to find competent official to enforce the regulation and even harder to respect them and avoid polluters.
Chen Jining, the Chinese environment minister, declared that the fight against pollution was made difficult by the extensive fossil fuel use, especially in the North. Six provinces in this area, including Beijing, consume one third of the country’s fossil fuel and are responsible for 30-40 percent of the pollutant factors, despite covering only 7.2% of China’s surface.
But the minister Chen Jining is unbelievably optimistic. He proudly declared that they would manage the situation way better than some countries in Western Europe did. While these countries took 20 to 40 years to solve pollution issues, they are sure to be quicker. They announced they would invest 2.5 trillion yuan (this means around $361 billion) into renewable energy and they should have this system ready by 2020.
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