• Beijing is enveloped in smog.

Beijing is enveloped in smog. (Photo : Getty Images)

Through the leadership of Beijing city mayor Cai Qi, an environmental police force was formed to address the rising problem of Beijing smog.

For a week, red alerts were raised due to heavy smog that enveloped the city. The smog is caused by emissions from coal-burning factories and the cold front.

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The police force was tasked to implement tougher measures on companies who violate environmental standards.

"Open-air barbecues, garbage incineration, biomass burning, dust from roads--these acts of non-compliance with regulations are actually the result of lax supervision and weak law enforcement," Cai said.

He added, "Like many of us, I am used to checking the weather and the air quality index (AQI) of Beijing first thing in the morning. I totally understand the public's concerns and complaints about air pollution."

The heavy smog led to the closure of Beijing's highways and cancellation of flights. Particle levels exceeded severe levels and prompted authorities to raise orange to red alerts.

The mayor said that he will work with neighboring municipalities of Beijing and Hebei to enforce laws to protect the environment. He did not specify when they will commence.

As China moves forward to shift to renewable energy, the government already ordered the closure of more than 500 Chinese companies through the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

They have punished and around 10,000 car-owners for smoke emission violations.

However, observers said that the move is not enough.

According to He Ren, a spokesman for the Beijing Volunteer Service Federation, "The government must strengthen environmental protection and step up supervision and accountability in 2017."

In Feb. 2017, Beijing's coal-fired power plant will be shut down and authorities expect coal consumption will be down by 30 percent.