Authorities in China's Northern Hebei Province issued an Orange alert on October 30, due to concerns over the air pollution forecast for November 1. According to the local Chinese environment bureau, the Orange alert is the second-highest level of alert in terms of air pollution. The Orange alert is issued when the level of the PM 2.5 particles remains over the 200 barriers on the Air Quality Index for 3 days.
An alert of such a level results in the decline in production for a few companies alongside the suspension of operations of construction companies as well. The alert also prohibits heavy vehicles from plying on the road.
A specific plan was formulated that included the setting up of a special agency in the Hebei region that is filled with chemical industries. In response to that, a representative of the ecology and environment ministry, Liu Youbin, stated that 2020 is an important year to complete the plan in order to tackle air pollution
Liu said that there are many other tasks that have been planned out in the past two years that is a direct reflection of the government's efforts to tackle and eliminate the problem of pollution. He further said that the level of pollution in the winter season is more "sensitive" and that one is not going to witness favourable weather conditions this year as strong winds with high speeds that will facilitate the dispersing of allergens and polluting particles.
A representative of the international environmental organization, Greenpeace, Lauri Myllyvirta, stated that there was a significant reduction in the pollution levels in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region but pollution levels had increased in regions in the Southern part of the country such as Anhui, Canton, Fujian, and Jiangsu.
The Chinese government also announced that the tax exemptions on the new energy vehicles that started in 2018 will continue in 2020 to give a boost to the country's green development initiatives and also to retain a strong domestic market. The government extensively promoted the use of the NEV's to ease the pressure on the current environmental conditions.
(With Agency Inputs)