Olympics - Beijing Orders Tighter Emission Rules On Cars

Beijing will ban sales of new cars that fail to meet new emission standards starting from March, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday, in another move to clean up its air before the August Olympic Games. All new cars are required to meet the new national standards that are equivalent to Euro IV standards, Xinhua said, citing Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the city's Environment Protection Bureau. The tougher emission standards will extend to heavy vehicles used for public transportation, sanitation and mail services from July, the report said. About a third of the main pollutants in Beijing such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide come from vehicle exhaust, said Du. The new standards are estimated to cut emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides by 48,000 tonnes, 5,300 tonnes and 4,100 tonnes, respectively, this year. The capital city will keep a ban on diesel vehicles which emit three times as much nitrogen oxide as gasoline-power ones, Du was quoted as saying. Beijing already ordered petrol stations in the city to sell gasoline and diesel that meet Euro IV standards at the start of 2008. The city has about 3.1 million motor vehicles, and every day about 1,200 new ones hit the road, Xinhua said. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jeremy Laurence) REUTERS NEWS SERVICE