The Chinese government has asked its people to use the public transport vehicles instead of their personal cars to help reduce emissions. This move can hardly address the issue in proper manner, because the city’s underground network is affected as well.
On November 2014, the authorities had brought some relief to the citizens by closing down certain factories in surrounding regions and decreasing the number of vehicles on the road as a measure of proper preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that was held in the city from November 10-11 (“22nd APEC”, 2014). The 10 day ban restricted about half of the private vehicles from the roads on alternate days based on whether the last digit in their number plates was odd or even. The AQI readings were down below 100 during most part of the first half of November as a result of these measures, with ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ air quality being experienced for 10 of the first 12 days of the month. But as the summit ended and things went back to normal, the measures adopted were abandoned, resulting in the return of smog soon after. This signifies the overall lack of enthusiasm and initiative from the government to properly tackle the issue. Moreover, the readings reported by governmental bureau were way below than what was being perceived. The municipal environment bureau’s reading of AQI was below 300 and the smog alert issued by the Beijing Meteorological Bureau was lowest among the three-tier warning system. The bottom line is that there is absolute requirement for the Beijing Municipality to implement serious assessment mechanisms of environmental quality and operate at a more transparent level.
The China Daily claimed the city does not have enough ‘green areas’ to soak up the fumes that were released by industries and vehicles. Health experts stated that the current smog levels can also be occurring due to the lack of wind required to disperse the haze.