Beijing has announced a series of 84 measures in order to tackle air pollution; the current biggest pickle that could jeopardize its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Xinhua has reported that Beijing’s executive vice mayor, Li Shixiang has announced a set of plans to deal with its environmental problems at the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress. These have included the decreasing of over half of coal consumption to 10 million tonnes per year by 2017, cracking down on industrial pollution and dust fall from construction sites and limiting the among of newly added vehicles every year to 150,000.
China is hoping to hold the Winter Olympics in Beijing and Zhangjiakou City in neighboring Hebei Province. It finds itself in a bit of a muddle though, considering the chronically bad air quality of Beijing as well as the Hebei’s absolute dominance in the list of China’s most polluted cities.
But fear not. Li remains confident, drawing on the experience gained from Beijing’s 2008 Olympics. Who needs healthy air to look good when we’ve got experience anyway?
These measures are proving that when it comes to winning the bid for the Winter Olympics 2022, there’s absolutely nothing that will stand in China’s way. Bad environmental image? Not a problem. South Korea stealing the Winter Olympics shebang in Asia in 2018? Could be awkward, but we’ll fix that later. Choking smog that might suffocate all competing athletes if they inhale (and I hear that’s a thing that you need to do when sport-ing)? We have it sorted.
By Mandy Liang