Beijing issues second ever pollution “red alert”

Beijing issues second ever pollution “red alert”

Beijing issues second ever pollution “red alert”

Written by Staff Writer

18 Dec, 2015 | 10:07 am

Beijing authorities have issued a second pollution “red alert”, little more than a week after its first ever such warning.

The Chinese capital will endure dense smog from Saturday until Tuesday, the Beijing Meteorological Service said.

The National Meteorological Centre said a wide area from Xian in central China to Harbin in the north-east would also be affected.

The alert triggers restrictions on vehicle use, factories and building.

The government has promised to crack down on often hazardous levels of pollution around the country.

The current four-level alert system was instituted a about two years years ago, although the red alert had never been issued until this month, to disbelief and criticism from some of those that have been affected for years.

Coal-powered industries and heating systems – in heavy use during the cold Beijing winter – are major contributors to the smog, which is made worse by weather conditions and the city’s geography.

Beijing is bordered to the south and east by industrial areas that generate pollution, and to the north and west by mountains that trap it over the city.

China still depends on coal for more than 60% of its power, despite big investments in renewable energy sources.

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