Beijingers vote for Olympic ‘blue skies’

Feature Story - 2008-09-12
It’s been Beijing’s best summer in terms of air quality for 10 years and naturally the capital’s residents don’t want to give it up. A new survey by Greenpeace shows that the public are overwhelmingly behind stricter environmental measures to make sure the old days of suffocating smog do not return.

Beijingers say they love their Olympic "blue skies"

Over 90 percent of respondents to our survey of more than 800 Beijing residents in early September said that they believed there was a marked improvement in the capital's environment.

Around 90 percent attributed the positive changes to the government's long-term and short-term environmental measures for the Olympic Games.

These measures included shutting down factories, halting construction, building more subway lines and restricting cars based on their license plate.

A catalyst to a cleaner Beijing

"Our survey shows that an overwhelming number of Beijing residents welcomed the improvement to their environment because of the government's measures," said Greenpeace Campaign Director Lo Sze Ping.

"These measures should not be dropped after the Games are over. Beijing needs tighter policies to secure a long-term improvement in the city's environment. The Olympic Games can be the catalyst to a cleaner Beijing."

A majority of respondents also said they hoped the government would continue to expand and improve the city's public transportation network to help improve air quality.

Willing to make sacrifces

As a clear signal that Beijing residents are willing to sacrifice personal comforts for the benefit of the environment, just over one third of those respondents who said they owned a car license also said they supported keeping the Oympic odd-even license plate restrictions on car use after the Games.

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