Hoping to prevent the city from being smothered by smog, Beijing is banning construction projects this winter.
From November 15th to March 15th, the construction of road and water projects will be banned, along with the demolition of housing in the capital city’s six major districts and surrounding suburbs, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported, before adding that “Major livelihood projects and certain key projects involving construction must be authorized by the commission if work cannot be halted during the period.”
Beijing has made a number of big promises this year about reducing the city’s infamous air pollution. Back in January, the city government vowed to reduce Beijing’s average PM2.5 level to 60 in 2017 — which would “only” be double the World Health Organization’s safety standard.
As part of this effort, Beijing has created a new “smog squad” task force, shut down the city’s last coal power plant and even put someone behind bars for causing air pollution for the first time — a worker at a local heating company.
Each winter, China’s capital city is regularly smothered by a noxious layer of harmful particulates from factories, automobiles, and, of course, outdoor barbeques. Last winter, the city was forced to issue a red alert for smog in mid-December, and then at the start of the new year along with the rest of the country as residents were warned not to eat the “very dirty snow” and skyscrapers were submerged in a toxic mist.
However, earlier this month, China warned that even its best efforts might not prevent similar air events from occurring this winter, worrying that mild, humid winter weather brought on by global warming could make things even worse.
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