Beijing acts to cut emissions

Beijing has introduced cleaner vehicle fuel standards in its latest effort to curb the Chinese capital's notorious pollution ahead of the Olympic Games in August

Under the new regulations, petrol and diesel sold at all outlets in the city must meet the China IV standards, which are equivalent to the European Union's Euro IV standards.

Official statistics claim that the China III standards introduced at the end of 2005 have reduced vehicle emissions of sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain, by 2,480 tonnes a year. Now the authorities hope to achieve further cuts of 1,840 tonnes.

There are more than three million vehicles in Beijing, which suffers heavy traffic congestion. Residents are being encouraged to use public transport by measures including a new north-south subway line and reduced fares.

Image: Traffic congestion in Beijing [Reuters/David Gray]

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