Mar 21, 2017 03:15 AM EDT
Beijing is actively pushing its five-year clean air action plan as it shuts down the last of the Chinese capital's coal-fired power plant. As Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant ceased operation, Beijing became the first among major cities to totally generate power from natural gas sources. Huaneng was blamed as one of the contributors to at least ten million tons of coal emissions per year.
To recall, Beijing officials have issued a blue alert notice due to heavy smog on Sunday. High pollution level has cloaked the city for several days already and they fear that it might last for at least a week more. Among top solution against high atmospheric particle matter or PM problems, authorities opt for natural gas instead of coal.
While the usual measuring level for PM is 2.5 or about 30 percent of human hair's diameter, Beijing pegs at 50 to 80. These harmful particles of air pollution are also usually high at 200 to 330 micrograms per cubic meter. Comparably, the World Health Organization's peak level for "admissible" exposure in a 20-hour cycle should only be 25, a level which is attainable through clean sources like natural gas, according to Phys.org.
The statement from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that Beijing is taking a positive stance against pollution is a sigh of relief for environmentalists. Premier Li said that it is time for the Chinese capital to crank up its campaign to make the "skies blue again," The Guardian reported. Immediately thereafter, four coal-fired plants halted their operations and some are bent on converting into natural gas.
The same policy was echoed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting which Beijing hosted. Beijing then again stressed its commitment and announced further expansion against vehicle emissions. Premier Li capped his announcement that while climate change may not totally be averted, the Chinese could contribute in the environment by using natural gas.
To describe the impact of lesser emissions and cleaner air, the 2008 Beijing Olympics witnessed a "cleaner" environment. Authorities order factories who don't use natural gas to temporarily cease operations and banned vehicles for few weeks to curb the prevailing smog.