Thursday 28 November 2013

China's campaign against air pollution

A contemporary version of Chairman Mao's campaign against sparrows

Beijing confiscates barbecues in drive to cut air pollution
More than 500 barbecue grills seized in three-month campaign are cut up so they cannot be used again

27 November, 2013,

Beijing is waging a war against air pollution, one barbecue at a time. Officials have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues to cut particulate matter.

Photos carried by state media showed workers cutting pieces of metal as city wardens looked on. A media officer at Beijing's Xicheng district administration bureau said hundreds of barbecue grills had been confiscated in a three-month campaign and cut up so they could not be used again.

Ma Jun, an environmental campaigner, said residents had complained to environmental agencies in the past about the odour and smoke from open-air barbecues.

"This action will help local residents, but to deal with the bigger air quality problem we need to have priorities and I think one of the major priorities should still be the motor vehicle emissions," said Ma, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

He said the focus should be on improving the fuel quality and emissions control of heavy duty diesel trucks, while also involving the surrounding regions, not just Beijing.

The capital's pollution regularly reaches hazardous levels. The city government announced last month that emergency measures such as factory shutdowns and traffic limits would be imposed when air pollution levels were particularly heavy.

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