Air Pollution Causes Red Alert in Beijing


red alert  has been called out in China's capital Beijing after air pollution levels reached their highest rate. It is the first time such a warning has been issued since the system started working in 2013. The government has closed schools and limited the number of cars that are allowed to drive on city streets. According to state officials the air pollution rate is ten times higher than it should be.

In Beijing, a city of over 20 million people,  residents seem calm about the red alert. They put on masks or just cover their noses and mouths with handkerchiefs. But some people in the city have also complained about coughing and suffer from lung diseases. The government recommends Beijing's citizens to stay at home and avoid outdoor activities .  Fireworks and outdoor barbecues are also forbidden

Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Most of the air pollution comes from industries that burn coal and oil. Some comes from cars and other vehicles that drive around in the city. The red alert comes at a time when climate talks are under way in Paris.  Chinese officials have promised to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions.


Before the warning came up,  bad air had been hovering over the northern part of China for many days.Experts say that the current red alert will not be the only one in the Chinese capital this winter.


Air pollution over Beijing

Air pollution over Beijing


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  • according to = as said by ...
  • air pollution = when cars and factories make the air dirty
  • avoid = stay away from something
  • capital = the most important city in a country; where the government is
  • citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • complain = to say you are unhappy about something
  • CO2 = carbon dioxide = greenhouse gas that is produced when you burn coal and oil
  • cover = put over
  • current = at the moment, now
  • forbid = not allow
  • government = people who rule a country
  • hover = to stay in one place in the air
  • issue = call out
  • limit = here: not allow more than a certain number
  • lung disease = illness which makes it difficult for you to breathe
  • official = person in a high position
  • promise = to say that you will do something
  • recommend = suggest
  • red alert = warning
  • reduce = lower
  • resident = person who lives in a city
  • suffer from = to be in pain; if something hurts
  • vehicle = car, truck or other machine that has a motor