Severe smog shrouded north China earlier this week.
On Monday, the Chinese capital city of Beijing for the first time issued the highest air pollution alert for three days.
Schools were closed, work at outdoor construction sites suspended, and factories halted operations.
Cars with even-numbered license plates were kept off roads.
Dr. Matthew Kahn, a visiting Professor of Economics at University of South California, called the pollution a byproduct of China’s decades-long fast economic growth.
He also said the heavy pollution is a catalyst for the government to take tougher measures.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DR. MATTHEW KAHN, Environmental economist:
“China has had an amazing economic growth, but byproduct of that growth is plenty of pollution from burning coal, industrial production, and increased car growth.”
At the Paris Climate Change Conference, China reiterated its pledge made in June, including cutting carbon emissions, increasing non-fossil fuel sources and peaking carbon emissions by 2030.
Kahn said China has made such firm commitment out of several reasons.
As the world’s second largest economy and one of the biggest carbon emitters, China is playing a crucial and responsible role in the global fight against climate change.
To win the fight, Kahn said China needs to rely on renewable energy.
He also believed that the green technology will help boost China’s economy in the long run.