China smog: Beijing issues second ever pollution red alert [BBC]

Beijing's’ brief respite from the smog is at an end as high forecast levels of pollution have brought on the second ever Red Alert since the system began in 2013. PM2.5 levels are expected to soar to over 500 mg/m3 as a cloud of pollution over 2,000km2 in size settles over the north of the country, again. The last Red Alert measures reduced pollution levels by around 30%, the result of restrictions on production, construction work and private vehicles on the road.

China detains 10 company officials over fabricated pollution data [Reuters]

The government has detained 10 company officials over falsified pollution data as public pressure over repeated bouts of smog intensifies. 8 firms have come under fire for using fabricated figures to bypass regulations and manipulate the process of environmental checks.

 

In China, Diners Pay for Clean Air With Their Entree [New York Times]

As the smog crisis continues, clean air is fast becoming a commodity thanks to a new wave of opportunistic entrepreneurs. People and companies cashing in on the crisis include a restaurant in Jiangsu that has added a 1RMB ‘clean air fee’ per customer and a Canadian man who is selling ‘fresh Canadian mountain air’ for $28 a bottle.

'Airpocalypse' Is an Opportunity for China and India [Bloomberg]

The Beijing government’s response to the city’s recurring pollution crisis has prompted a dialogue about India’s pollution which far outstrips that of even China’s most polluted cities. Delhi is now introducing private vehicle restrictions by number plates but both cities need bigger and more long lasting restrictions on vehicles and polluting industries.

IEA Cuts Coal Demand Outlook as China `Golden Age' Seen Over [Bloomberg]

Even more bad news for coal this week as the International Energy Agency cut its coal demand forecast and declared China’s ‘golden age of coal’ over. The news has raised hopes that China is facing peak coal demand for the first time and continue to fuel dropping coal consumption.