UK

Sky News' Katie Stallard Wears Pollution Mask During Beijing Broadcast On Day Of Paris Climate Summit

30/11/2015 12:41 GMT | Updated 30/11/2015 13:59 GMT

A Sky News correspondent reporting from Beijing has appeared on air wearing a pollution mask on the same day as world leaders arrive in Paris to discuss climate change at the COP21 summit.

Katie Stallard wore the black face covering whilst warning that the current pollution in China's capital is at a dangerously high level.

"We were given advice from the Ministry of Environmental Protection that people should be staying inside, but if you are outside you should be wearing a mask," she said.

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Katie Stallard appears on Sky News in pollution mask

The presenter also shared warnings about air quality: "We all have these apps on our phones for measuring the air quality index - this is one called Aircopolypse, it shows the figure 566 and to put that into context a safe level for that figure would be 25".

Many joined the conversation on social media after watching her segment, as she reported on China raising its smog alert level.

Whilst there were some who went one more to deny any links between pollution and climate change:

Others just wanted to comment on her appearance:

The Guardian's Beijing correspondent Tom Phillips and the BBC's Marina Byrne also tweeted about the smog, capturing surreal images from the capital:

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation has a major stake in the broadcaster, has previously downplayed the effects of climate change. Speaking in an interview in 2014 he said: "In terms of the world's temperature going up, the worst, the most alarmist things have said ... 3°C in 100 years. At the very most one of those will come from man-made, be man-made."

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The Sky News broadcast comes as the Paris COP21 summit has begun, welcoming world leaders - including US president Barack Obama - for the first day of the negotiations, which aim to secure a global deal to stop "dangerous" climate change.

Prime Minister David Cameron is set to call for a robust deal that shows governments are serious about cutting carbon.

Meanwhile China is looking to invest in solar power as generations look to cure its addiction to coal and embed renewable energy at the heart of its economy.

Coal-powered heating systems used during cold winters are partly to blame for its soaring pollution levels and the thick grey smog. China currently produces around 30 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases.

The issue wasn't fully recognized by China's leaders until 2010, when the U.S. Embassy in Beijing published a tweet calling the air quality readings in Beijing "crazy bad."

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