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China to blacklist worst-polluting cities
Updated: 2005-10-24 20:33

China is to blacklist cities that fail to reach national air quality standards and penalise them by warning off investors, state media quoted environment officials as saying on Monday.

The State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) will also control construction projects that could worsen air pollution in the worst-offending cities.

"The list will be announced regularly to warn cities of deteriorating air quality," Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Lijun, SEPA's deputy director, as telling a forum on air quality.

Zhang said there would be serious consequences for human health if emissions of sulphur dioxide were not curbed. SEPA was drafting a programme focused on cleaning up coal power plants, with coal used to generate more than two-thirds of the country's power.

China's emissions of sulphur dioxide were the highest in the world last year, causing acid rain across 30 percent of the country, the report said.

With China also the world's fastest-growing car market, SEPA official Li Xinmin said it would also write regulations aimed at curbing auto pollution into the country's 11th Five Year Plan, which will come into effect from 2006.

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