Yesterday, Beijing announced its innovative new way of dealing with pollution which is to raise the red alert… threshold standards.
Currently, the requirement for a red alert is an AQI of 200 for a 3-day period. But after surviving a pair of red alerts at the end of last year, Beijing now scoffs at a mere 200 — future alerts will now have to exceed an AQI of 500 for a 1-day period, 300 for 2 days, or 200 for 4 days to get the government to raise the red flag, reports Reuters.
The new standard is to take effect from the end of March and covers Beijing, Tianjin, and neighbouring cities in Hebei province. Environmental protection bureau official Liu Wei has promised that raising the bar in this way will tighten pollution controls, or something.
Last month, Beijing announced it’ll be closing 2,500 companies that contribute significant pollution. Additionally, Sunday’s notice told of the development of ventilation “corridors” designed to improve air quality.
Yet even with all this effort and bluster, environmental officials admit they don’t foresee an ease in smog until 2030.
Meanwhile, minister Chen Jining reckons that China is setting a true standard environmentally for the West.
By Pinky Latt