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8 Nov, 2013

Beijing to cut new car quota by 37.5%


BEIJING, 2013-11-07, (Xinhua) – The Beijing municipal government will slash its new car registration quota by 37.5 percent starting from 2014 and give more stake to new energy vehicles as part of its efforts to curb air pollution.

According to an interpretation of a five-year vehicle emission reduction plan (2013-2017), the number of newly registered cars will be cut from current 240,000 each year to 150,000 by 2017.

A five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), released on September 12, ruled that the total number of vehicles in the city would be restricted to around 6 million by the end of 2017.

The city had 5.4 million vehicles at the end of October, according to figures from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

Among the 600,000 vehicles allowed to hit the road within the next four years, 170,000 will be new energy vehicles which include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell ones.

In 2014, a quota of 20,000 new car registration will be given to new energy vehicles, and 30,000 in 2015.

In 2016 and 2017, that figure will be doubled from that for 2015 to 60,000 respectively.

Harsher punishments needed to battle air pollution

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Harsher punishments on polluters are needed to help improve air quality in China, a senior Chinese official said here on Tuesday.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference less use of coal and emission reduction for automobiles were also crucial to tackle air pollution.

He said increased air pollutants caused by growing social consumption of fossil fuels were the main cause of the worsening smog, which has severely affected people’s health.

Those who take irresponsible decisions that lead to severe environmental consequences need to be punished according to the law, he said.

Citing the action plan unveiled in September by the State Council, or China’s Cabinet, Xie said the Chinese government has set goals and taken concrete measures to tackle air pollution through developing clean energy sources, boosting green industry and planting more trees.

The government aims to cut the density of inhalable particulate matter by at least 10 percent in major cities nationwide by 2017, according to the action plan.

PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, should fall by about 25 percent from 2012 levels in Beijing and surrounding provincial areas by 2017, the action plan said.

Xie added that it is also important to raise public awareness and change the country’s growth and consumption pattern in a timely manner to improve air quality.