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China: Beijing issues first ever smog ‘red alert’

Beijing’s city government issued its first red alert for pollution on Monday, ordering schools to close, halting outdoor construction and restricting car use due to hazardous air quality.

Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection warns that severe pollution will cover the Chinese capital, starting Tuesday local time and lasting for more than three days.

The alert means extra measures will be enforced, including closing schools, restricting car use by odd-even licensing, halting outdoor construction and other polluting industrial activity, and banning fireworks and outdoor barbecues.

The red alert — the highest level in the system — is due to be in force until noon Thursday local time. The city is currently under an orange alert, the second-highest level.

China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, aims to have its emissions peak by 2030.

Most of the country’s carbon emissions come from burning coal to heat homes and to fuel power plants, a practice that spikes during the cold winter months.




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