Beijing takes action to lower motor vehicle emissions

C40 City Beijing’s municipal government recently unveiled a Clean Air Action Plan that outlines a variety of measures the city will take over the next five years to prevent and control vehicle exhaust pollution.

Notably, the plan calls for a 5 percent decrease in vehicle fuel consumption from 2012 levels by 2017. In order to achieve this goal, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport will pursue the following objectives:

  1. Regulate the number of new cars on Beijing’s roads. By the end of 2017, the number of cars within the municipality of Beijing should be less than 6 million.
  2. Expedite the development of public transportation. The length of the metro system is projected to reach 660 kilometers by 2015, and the mileage of the bus lane network should reach 480 km by 2017 under current City estimates. Moreover, the city has set ambitious targets for the uptake of public transportation, which should account for 52 percent of total travel and 60 percent of total motorized travel by 2017.
  3. Increase the number of public transport vehicles running on clean technologies. In 2017, the proportion of buses powered by electricity, natural gas, and fossil fuels will reach the ratio of 2:5:3, respectively, within the city’s Fifth Ring Road. Furthermore, 200,000 new, clean energy vehicles will be deployed in the city by 2017.
  4. Apply stricter motorized vehicle emission standards and accelerate the scrapping of older motor vehicles. At the end of 2015 vehicles that fail to meet the European 1 standard for exhaust emissions should all be scrapped.
  5. Improve public management policy to enhance air pollution prevention.

Taken together, these ambitious targets set Beijing on course towards greatly improving the city’s air quality, tackling a critical environmental and public health issue.

To learn more about the Clean Air Action Plan, click here for a report by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

Changing Planet


The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.