Beijing says the skies over the capital are looking bluer every day — relatively. The Chinese insist that special efforts to thin out pollution ahead of the Olympic Games have lightened the smog.
Measures halving the number of cars on the roads have had less effect than intended. Yet the authorities are promoting optimism ahead of the opening ceremony on the 8th of August.
Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau Deputy Director Du Shaozhong said: “From the 1st of July, pollutants have been reduced by 15 to 20 percent. We have had 23 days of clean air.”
Ecologists warn that pollution in Beijing is consistently in excess of the standards set by the World Health Organisation. Natural and man-made conditions each contribute: The temperature this Tuesday was forecast in the mid-thirties (Celsius) with around 70% humidity.
So that athletes and other visitors can breathe properly, Beijing could restrict more cars and close more factories.