Beijing issued Monday evening first-ever red alert for thick smog blanketing the city, ordering schools to close, restricting car use by odd-even licensing and halting outdoor construction as well as other polluting industrial activity.
According to warning issued by the city’s Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection, pollution will cover the capital for more than three days starting Tuesday. The alert will end Thursday noon.
Presently Beijing is under orange alert, which is the second-highest level and was issued on Saturday.
At the recent international climate change talks in French capital Paris the Chinese officials promised to curb the use of coal in the country to address air pollution as well as carbon dioxide emissions.
The multicolored warnings of air pollution response system was set up in 2013 and until now the red alert has never been issued.
Today’s announcement would affect more than 20 million residents in the city.