The Chinese government is planning to take six million high-emission vehicles off the road this year to reduce pollution, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Tuesday.
Nearly 2.5 million vehicles will be taken off roads in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, and four municipalities and provinces along the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, the ministry confirmed.
The General Office of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, has launched the initiative which is being enacted by local authorities.
In Tuesday’s announcement, a ministry spokesman urged local authorities to formulate policies and enforce stronger laws to eradicate high emissions vehicles.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles on China’s roads are blamed for a large portion of air pollution and smog across the country.
In Beijing, for example, cars emitted over 30 per cent of the capital’s PM 2.5, a particulate matter significantly contributing to hazardous smog in the capital.
China has been the world’s vehicle market and producer for the last five years; production and sales both exceeded 20 million units for the first time in 2013.
According to reports, car ownership increased to 137 million last year.
Vehicles that fail to meet China’s national emissions standards account for around 10 per cent of the country’s total number and they emitted about half of all car pollutants, according to official statistics.