China's authorities are acting to tighten vehicle emission standards amid rising concern in Beijing over air pollution levels.

This month, Beijing began implementing its a new tougher emission standards for diesel-fuelled vehicles which is similar to the Euro V and is designed to curb concentrations of fine particulate matter.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said there will be a ban on diesel cars that fail to meet the standard.

The sale and registration of sub-standard gasoline cars will be banned from March 1, reports say.

The new standards apply to all new vehicle registrations, not to vehicles already on the roads.

Beijing's total number of vehicles is likely to hit 6 million by 2015, up from 5.2 million, Xinhua said.