China has ordered more than 2,000 highly polluting, unsafe or energy inefficient plants to shut down within two months.
Environmental campaigners welcomed the measure, saying the announcement went well beyond previous orders in naming specific facilities and outlining stiff penalties for firms that do not comply by the end of September.
The notice from the ministry of industry and information technology covers 18 industries including steel, paper, cement and dyeing, according to Shanghai Securities News and other media. It includes companies across the country and will affect parts of the Aluminium Corporation of China, better known as Chalco, and Hebei Iron and Steel Group, the country’s biggest steelmaker.
“There is no doubt this announcement is significant, especially because it is complete with real consequences; if they don’t meet the target they will be barred from obtaining loans, for example,” said Alex Wang, of the Natural Resources Defence Council…
Beijing’s target is to reduce energy intensity – the amount used to generate each unit of gross domestic product – by 20% from the 2005 level…
The list included 762 cement factories, 279 paper mills, 175 steel mills, 192 coking plants and an unspecified number of aluminum mills.
“Overdue” – often my comment on questions of environment – doesn’t quite fit.
Just as the Chinese nation is skipping whole centuries in the course of bringing their economy from feudal compradore capitalism into the 21st Century – they also have decades of ecological understanding and law to accomplish in less time than the decades it took most western industrial nations.
The job isn’t complete, here.
It ain’t ever easy.