Beijing has extended a ban on outdoor barbecues to restaurants operating in some suburban areas as it tries to improve its notoriously poor air quality in case it wins the 2022 Winter Olympics, state news agency Xinhua reported.Barbecues, generally used to cook popular street foods like kebabs, are already banned within the city’s fourth ring road. The government blames them for contributing to smog, despite much public ridicule that dirty factories are more to blame.The outlying suburb of Tongzhou, as well as parts of Shunyi, Miyun, Pinggu and Fangshan, will now have to follow the ban, the report issued late on Wednesday said, citing the Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement.
According to Reuters, the efforts Beijing made to curb its smog problem before the 2008 Summer Olympics haven’t really worked all that well:
Average levels of hazardous airborne particles, known as PM2.5, stood at 85.9 micrograms per cubic meters in 2014, down four percent compared with the previous year. That is still far higher than the national air quality standard of 35 micrograms.
The International Olympic Committee will vote on the 2022 Games in late July.