Business / Green China

Mayor: Polluters put on notice to leave

By Lyu Chang (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-31 07:16

Beijing will push out industries that generate high levels of pollution and consume a lot of energy and water in order to make room for cleaner, high-tech sectors, the city's senior official said during a meeting on Beijing's first half economic and social development.

Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, said at a weekend conference it will eliminate about 300 heavy-polluting enterprises within the year and transfer out of the city manufacturing industries that attract a large transient population, consume lots of resources and have lost their competitive edge.

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"The city has been struggling to cope with the tension between a soaring population and scarce natural resources, which has led to traffic jams, water scarcity and air pollution," Wang said.

"All those issues are because Beijing is overloaded with too many functions, and some industries are not able to meet the city's strategic orientation to build itself into a political, cultural, foreign exchange and a high-tech innovation center," he said.

The capital will soon roll out a list of prohibited and restricted industries for newly added companies that are water-intensive, highly polluting and energy-intensive, according to the city's top officials.

Zhang Gong, Party secretary of Beijing municipality's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said that water scarcity has always been a problem for Beijing's development and that it has reached a critical level as a result of rapid economic growth.

He said the city will strengthen its legal system and put in place a new water management mechanism to ensure the South-North Water Transfer plan is fully utilized. "If you cannot build up a platform to attract high-tech talent, provide a sound financing service system and a healthy political mechanism, innovation is not going to be sustained."

Experts said the two-day meeting is just the start of a long, bumpy journey.

Wang Hao, general manager of Beijing Capital Group, the State-owned property company, said he prefers to invest locally, but it has become hard to find growth models in Beijing, especially when the capital has been reducing its reliance on real estate investment to boost the local economy. "Innovative reform must replace the old model," he said.

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