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“The first red alert over air pollution in the Chinese capital almost brought this city to a standstill in December, with schools shut, construction halted and driving restricted. Now, in a swift policy shift, Beijing plans to issue a red alert based on higher thresholds, despite government pledges to better address the toxic air.

“A red alert, the highest level of a four-tier warning system, will be issued if the daily average air quality index is forecast to exceed 500 for one day, 300 for two days or 200 for four days, Xinhua, the state news agency, reported on Sunday, quoting Beijing’s environmental agency. The new standards will take effect before the end of March, it said.

“…The Chinese news media reported over the weekend that Beijing was considering a plan to build five ventilation corridors to improve urban air circulation. The corridors, each at least 1,500 feet wide, would run though the city, passing through parks, inner-city lakes and public spaces. Also being planned, the reports said, are an unspecified number of narrower corridors. It is not clear how much the project would cost or when it would be finished.”  The New York Times. Read it on

Beijing to Raise Threshold on Red Alerts for Smog