Opinion / From the Press

Limit car use to clear air pollution

( Updated: 2013-01-16 19:58

The government should cut emissions not only from construction site, enterprises and boilers, but also control emissions from the automobiles, says an editorial in Beijing News Daily. Excerpts:

The maximum level of PM2.5, airborne particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, reached 1,000 in many cities in Middle and East China. This poisonous smoggy weather has lasted for several days because of the lack of wind and cold weather.

Take Beijing as an example. Emissions from automobiles account for about 40 percent of the pollutants causing the hazy and suffocating air. The government should take timely measures to restrict the uses of automobiles.

It was good to hear the municipal government of Beijing to order the suspension of use of 30 percent of government cars when air pollution reaches a certain level.

As residents of the city and victims of air pollution, all people should control the use of private cars and make public transportation their first choice during heavily polluted conditions.

It is advisable for the government to pass rules that say when the air is heavily polluted, half of the automobiles should be ordered off the road at any one time, using the license plates' odd or even numbers to determine which vehicles can operate.

Beijing took this measure during the 2008 Olympic Games, yielding good results. In fact, China should not encourage an automobile society just for economic growth. Given China's large population and environmental conditions, public transportation and bicycles are more rational choices than private cars.

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