You may have heard there’s a bit of an air pollution problem in China. Worry no more, the Communist Party has finally decided it is time to do something real and effective to fix this issue which kills thousands of Chinese citizens every year. On Saturday the government announced that they will order companies in heavy-polluting industries to cut their emissions down 30 percent by 2017.
It will strictly control highly energy-intensive and polluting industries, adjust its energy structure and enhance control of PM2.5 – particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can damage health – in populated regions and cities, a statement released after the meeting said.
The government said it would eliminate overcapacity in heavily polluting industries, such as iron and steel, cement, aluminium and flat glass, earlier than the target originally set in the latest five-year plan.
According to the BBC there will be 10 measures that will help ensure this 30 percent target is met in four years’ time. Some of these measures include “curbing the growth of energy-consuming industries like steel, cement, aluminium, and glass,” “refusing permission for new industrial projects if they failed to meet required standards” and “strengthening enforcement of the current penalties regime.”
This effort by the government to protect the environment is a big step forward, especially in a country where being seen to favour the environment over the economy seriously hinders politicians’ career prospects. It also is a more sensible solution compared to the crackdown on street-side BBQ announced last month.
In last week’s summit between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, the two leaders agreed to work together on lowering their countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. China also vowed for greater cooperation between neighbors Japan and South Korea earlier this month to help curb air pollution in the region.
[Image credit: ]