China / Government

Vehicle exhaust a growing scourge, environmental authority reports

By Zheng Jinran ( Updated: 2016-01-19 15:19

China has over 16 million aging vehicles with excessive emissions, making vehicle exhaust an increasingly larger source of smog, the national environmental authority said on Tuesday.

By the end of 2014, the number of registered vehicles in China had reached 245 million, said Wang Jian, deputy head of the pollution control department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

With an annual production of about 23.7 million vehicles, China has been the world's largest production and sales market for six years in a row. The total amount of airborne pollutants emitted by the vehicles reached 45 million metric tons, reduced by just 0.5 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry's annual report on vehicle emission controls.

The growth of the industry has worsened the nation's air pollution problems, since vehicle exhaust mixes with pollutants from coal consumption, requiring the government to take comprehensive efforts to control them both, said the report released on Tuesday.

About 6.8 percent, or 16.6 million vehicles, dubbed "yellow-labeled cars", were still on the road in 2014. Though small in percentage, the heavily polluting vehicles emit significant air pollutants, Wang said.

Heavy trucks and vehicles fueled by diesel also were identified as heavy polluters, the report said.

The central government has formulated a plan to phase out vehicles with excessive emissions, setting removal targets for provinces and municipalities. As of November, more than 1.17 million vehicles, mostly "yellow-labeled cars" registered before 2005, were taken off the road.

Along with strict controls on vehicles with excessive emissions, the ministry intends to upgrade fuel quality across more of the country and strengthen supervision of vehicle production to ensure the industry focuses on pollution-reduction, the report said.

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