China air pollution

More heavy smog forecast for northern China over new year

Environmental protection ministry issues warnings to local governments

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 2:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 2:54pm

North China should prepare for more heavy smog in the coming days, the Ministry of Environmental Protection warned on Thursday.

A notice published on the ministry’s website said that due to “unfavourable weather conditions”, heavy smog was expected in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, as well as neighbouring provinces of Shandong and Henan until around January 5, the China News Service reported.

The ministry had sent warnings of worsening air quality to governments in Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan, and also asked those governments to take appropriate actions to reduce emissions, the report said.

What exactly is causing China’s toxic smog?

The ministry said it would dispatch 10 inspection teams to ensure emergency measures were implemented and step up regulations on firms with excessive emissions.

Air pollution usually worsens in northern China during the winter, as coal is used to heat homes. Beijing issued a red alert for smog in mid-December, its first of the year, and 10 cities in Hebei followed suit.

Some schools and factories in the region were shut because of the heavy pollution.