Gallery: China tries to clean up air with a new ban on cars!


With the 2008 Summer Olympics just around the corner, the Chinese government has started their plan to ban one million vehicles from the streets of Beijing. The initiative got underway this week with the intention to reduce the city’s air pollution in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, which start August 8th. From July 20 to Sept. 20, Beijing will alternate the days that vehicles with even and odd license plate numbers will be allowed to drive in the city – in the hopes that this will reduce traffic and air pollution for the Olympics. China has also announced that fuel prices will be raised by 18 per cent.

China’s incredible growth and increasing energy demands are commonly known. The pollution in the city of Beijing just relays the environmental issues around the country’s fast-paced development. With the Olympics right around the corner, the Chinese government is well aware that the one thing that can destroy all their best laid plans is the heavy smog common in Beijing.

Already a large number of athletes are severely concerned about how competing in the Olympics will harm their health and chances at winning. The Australian track and field team, and the Canadian athletics team are skipping the opening ceremony due to concerns about pollution.

The million car ban will include 70% of all government and state-run vehicles, but will basically remove cars from the road on by using an alternating system. From July 20 to Sept 20, the city will regulate traffic and pollution by alternating the days which vehicles with even and odd numbered registration numbers are allowed on the roads.

China’s government probably hopes that the recent increase in domestic fuel prices will dissuade drivers during the summer and slow down China’s hunger for new vehicles, though that seems unlikely. If there’s one lesson that China should take from this, it is that unfettered demand for oil consuming vehicles brings serious consequences that cannot easily be solved.

+ Beijing to Impose Odd-Even Car Ban During Olympics
+ China shocks with 18 percent fuel price rise
+ Oil price rise sparks mixed reaction


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  1. proda July 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Is pathetic to see the Chinese government start to do something to fight pollution now. That means that after the Olympics, everything will go back to polluting as usual. It\\\’s like they are saying: we don\\\’t care if our people get sick, let\\\’s clean up just for the event.
    Another government caring only about growth without considering the environment, they don\\\’t deserve the Olympics.
    They ended up in this situation because there are no regulations or restrictions for industries, thats why many left Europe or America, is much cheaper to build there with cheap labor and NO environment laws!

  2. WBrooke July 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

    We look shocked when we see the soupy air in China, but a lot of the pollution in China stems from the manufacture of goods that are sold in North America and Europe. Essentially, we have exported our own pollution to another country. If we manufactured in North America all of the goods that we consume, then our air quality would likely suffer just like China’s.

  3. seadio June 30, 2008 at 7:38 am

    to clean the air in China

  4. M2JL June 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    China pollution is no jokes. You can literally see it from the sky! (

    I remember finding out how bad it was when I was researching energy efficiency problems and solutions for buildings 8 years ago. They mainly use coal for energy. Back then the standards of living were way below the ones in North American and it already it was a problem. I remember thinking that since they were moving towards adopting North American standards of living (bigger houses, more and appliances, more heat, etc.) with a MUCH bigger population, it was going to be really bad. Hopefully they don’t follow our lead and find better ways to accommodate their growing needs.

  5. Chas June 24, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Over the years I’ve heard a lot of outlandish schemes to clean the air. I’m honestly surprised that China isn’t building one of them near the Olympic Stadium to clean the air. Guess they were even more outlandish than I thought because I’m sure if any of them could really work then the Chinese would be jumping on it.

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