Beijing Bans 2.5 Million Cars From Driving and the Results Were Incredible

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Source: CNN

Source: CNN

In 2015, China declared a new national holiday – Victory Day – to celebrate China’s victory over Japan during WWII.

The holiday and parade took place September 3, but to prepare, China took massive measures to make sure everything went perfect. Hundreds of factories were shut down, about half of China’s 5 million registered vehicles were banned from the streets, and military officers underwent some serious training. About 12,000 Chinese troops marched in the parade, along with fighter jets, veterans, and 17 other military units from other countries. It was the largest parade China has ever had.

It was also one of the best things to happen for the environment.

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In the weeks leading up to the event, Beijing experienced blue skies and a significantly improved air quality.

The air quality index for Beijing is usually at a dangerous 160 out of a possible 500, but during the parade, the AQI fell to 17.

Source: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Source: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

According to CNN, Beijing residents took to calling the sky “parade blue.”

However, only a day after the parade ended and motorized activity resumed, the sky returned to its usual gray color. Almost as quickly as it had cleared up, dangerous levels of pollution returned.

The AQI shot back up to 160.

But all is not lost.

If anything, this indicates that change is just around the corner and the problem can be fixed.

Back in December, Beijing ordered a shutdown of factories after air pollution reached over 25 times safe levels. However, authorities did say that air quality was better in 2015 than previous years.

Despite gray skies and red alerts, the country is on track in reaching its climate goals.

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