Jennifer Duggan: Authorities in China's capital announce tough new measures to tackle hazardous levels of air pollution
Last week, Beijing once again suffered hazardous levels of air pollutionprompting the city's mayor to announce an "all-out effort" to tackle the smog. Residents were advised to stay indoors as levels of fine particulate pollution known as PM2.5 reached the highest in a year. Unhealthy and even hazardous levels of air pollution have become commonplace in Beijing and in 2013 the city endured a total of 189 polluted air days.
The new measures will cut coal burning, limit car emissions and set yearly quotas for local governments and individual polluters. There will also be bigger fines for those found to be in violation of air pollution standards.
According to state media, the new measures replace a guideline which was issued in 2000 and is the "first of its kind" for the city. This will be the first time that Beijing has set targets to curb its total pollution emissions, according to Fang Li, vice head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. The previous guideline targeted only the growth of emissions.