December 31, 2008

Beijing Initiates Fines For High-Emissions Vehicles

An estimated 10 percent of vehicles in Beijing will be removed as of Thursday following the launch of a new initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

High-emission, or so-called "yellow-label" vehicles, are to be removed from city streets after a three-month grace period. If drivers are found to be driving one of these vehicles within the city's Fifth Ring Road, they will be fined 100 yuan, which amounts to $15.

Also, drivers found to be driving within the 6th Ring Road after October 1 will be fined.

China's government is also adding an incentive for drivers "“ up to 25,000 yuan ($3,600) for those who switch to lower-emission vehicles during 2009.

"Generally, the earlier people switch their vehicles the more money they will get," said the environmental official. "The phase-out of yellow-label cars is a key to improving the air quality in Beijing."

Beijing currently has about 3.5 million registered cars.

The city has attempted to use similar temporary bans during the Olympic Games in August by banning cars from the roads on one out of five weekdays based on license plate numbers.

The city would also provide preferential loans to shipping and transport companies to upgrade their vehicle fleets to meet low-emission standards, the paper said, citing the city's traffic bureau.

Image Courtesy Wikipedia