20080721 smog traffic beijing 18
Afternoon traffic flows along Beijing streets on smog-filled day. Anti-pollution measures put in place by the government aim to clear the skies before the Olympic Games. - 


Stacey Vanek-Smith: Another aspect of fuel has China concerned: Air pollution.

Beijing started drastic smog-control measure over the weekend. It's part of a last-minute push to clear the air for the Summer Olympics.

Lisa Chow reports.

Lisa Chow: It's a two-month plan in which drivers take turns using their cars. Only odd-number license plates were allowed on the streets today.

Officials estimate this rule will take more than half of Beijing's 3.3 million cars off city streets.

Timothy Hui works for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He says it's too hard to know whether this experiment will clear skies.

Timothy Hui: If people wish to feel with their eyes and nose about the improvement of the air quality, we will have to cross our fingers for better natural environmental conditions.

Today's sky was a faint blue and the sun came down through the haze.

In Beijing, I'm Lisa Chow for Marketplace.