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Beijing Travel Guide
Beijing Air Quality
 
Air pollution levels on an average day in Beijing Weather are nearly five times above World Health Organization standards for safety. Joint research between United States and Chinese researchers in 2006 concluded that a lot of the city's pollution comes from surrounding cities and provinces. According to the research, 34% of PM2.5 and on average 35-60% of ozone can be traced to sources outside the city. Shandong Province and Tianjin Municipality have a "significant influence on Beijing's air quality."
   
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, nearly US$17 billion was spent to clean the air, and Beijing had implemented a number of air improvement schemes for the duration of the games. This included stopping work on all construction sites, closing many factories both in and around Beijing, closing some gas stations, and cutting motor traffic by half. Two new subway lines were opened and thousands of old taxis and buses were replaced to encourage residents to use public transport.
Beijing Air Quality
 

From 21 September 2008, a new plna by restrictions on government vehicles and a new restriction making car owners use public transport once a week based on their license plate, coming into force in October.

In addition to the vehicle restrictions, staggered office hours and retail opening times have been encouraged to avoid the rush hour, parking fees increased, and 357,000 "yellow label" vehicles those that have too high emission levels will be banned in Beijing altogether from January.

   

According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), China has spent 17 billion over the last three years on a large scale green drive. Beijing has added 3,800 natural gas buses, the largest fleet in the world. Twenty percent of the Olympic venues' electricity comes from renewable energy sources. The city has also planted hundreds of thousands of trees and increased green space in an effort to make the city more livable.

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Beijing's Dust storms

Dust from erosion of deserts in northern and northwestern China results in seasonal dust storms that plague the city; the Beijing Weather Modification Office sometimes artificially induces rainfall to fight such storms and mitigate their effects. In the first four months of 2006 alone, there were no fewer than eight such storms. In April 2002, one dust storm alone dumped nearly 50,000 tons of dust onto the city before moving on to Japan and Korea.

 

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