Monday, December 07, 2009

Beijing Cars = Four Million in December 2009

An article in Examiner states that the Beijing car population will reach the four million mark in December 2009 and the city averaged ~2,000 cars a day in 2009 to reach the mark. And yet, the authorities claim that "it was confident that the city’s air pollution wouldn’t worsen as the number of cars increased".

Call me lame, but I do not understand the math here. If something is polluted, and if you are adding something to the system without purging the old, how is this not worsening?

1. City just added 1 million cars in less than 28 months. Even if the new cars are Euro-IV complaint, they are still emitting something. What about all the cars that are pre-Euro IV, which are still on the road.

2. If the cars were running normally, then OK, at least they are serving the mobility function, but not if they are sitting in congestion. Our calculations show, on average a 20 min idling in the city can lead to an addition of up to 10 percent of the emissions which could have been avoided.

Get out of the cars. The air pollution (and other emissions linked to climate change) is severe along the corridors and worse during the rush hours, mostly due to congestion and idling emissions. A lot of energy is wasted every where, in US, China, Europe, India, and the rest of the World.

See a review of air pollution from transport sector in China in SIM-air working paper No.19.

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