A new front in China’s war on pollution: Industrial emissions

After announcing last month a plan to curb air pollution by banning outdoor barbecues, which was appropriately met with much derision, Chinese officials seem to have stumbled onto something that might actually go toward fixing the air problem: Ordering companies in heavily-polluting industries to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2017. The new rules appear to be made in somewhat earnestness, even though (as usual) it’s not completely clear what exactly is going to happen yet. According to the BBC:

Under the new rules companies will be legally obliged to improve their pollution control equipment and will be penalised for excess emissions.

The State Council announced the emissions targets as part of a document that approved 10 measures for tackling environmental problems, including:

  • 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
  • Strengthening enforcement of the current penalties regime

Will they work? Considering the slowdown in China’s economy and tightened credit, they just might!

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