Pollution levels in Beijing reach orange alert

Last Updated: December 1, 2015
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 file photo, a man wears a mask on Tiananmen Square in thick haze in Beijing. China, one of the most visited countries in the world, has seen sharply fewer tourists this year, with worsening air pollution partly to blame. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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While China has been the direct protagonist of a massive economic growth in the last couple of years, its pollution levels have also massively sparked. With this in mind, its capital, Beijing maintained an orange pollution alert, which is basically the second-highest level available, today.

In order to cope with the high level of pollutions, Beijing residents were asked to stay indoors, while the government went ahead and closed highways, while also suspending construction work, as an effort to allow the air to clear. Recent reports indicate that the choking pollution has been caused by the unfavourable weather, which prompted urban heating systems to be switched on. Because of the low wind speed, the polluted air resulting from the heating systems has not been dispersed.

This is the first time that the pollution levels reach the orange alert this year, which also means that heavy smog is likely to be felt during the next three days. At this moment in time, the hazardous air shows that the government is not committed enough to fighting pollution, while also raising questions about China’s ability to clean up its air. As Beijing has 22.5 million residents, the poor air quality makes breathing difficult, while also encouraging a wide variety of lung-related problems to appear.

It’s important to point out the fact that climate change will be discussed over in Paris, this week. We’re excited to see whether an accord will be reached during the talks. So far, China looks like it’s trying to limit its pollution, as the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau has made a statement, saying that they have requested factories to limit their output for the time being.

The Bureau has also stated that the number of Chinese cities which are affected by major pollution, just like Beijing has reached 23. The war on pollution launched by China last year did play an influence, yet China still has a lot to work in combatting this.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, do you believe that China should sacrifice a bit of its economic growth in order to allow a better quality of air to settle? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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