China to blacklist, penalize polluting cities
Updated: 2005-10-25 06:57
China is to blacklist cities that fail to reach national air quality
standards and penalize them by warning off investors, environment officials said
The State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) will also control
construction projects that could worsen air pollution in the worst-offending
"The list will be announced regularly to warn cities of deteriorating air
quality," the Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Lijun, SEPA's deputy director, as
telling a forum on air quality.
China's economy has grown into the world's seventh-largest during more than
two decades of economic reform, but its growth has come at the expense of the
environment. China is the world's second-largest producer of greenhouse gases.
Large Chinese cities are typically choked by car exhaust, factory emissions
and construction dust, and pollution is compounded by coal-burning heating
plants lit during the winter.
Zhang said there would be serious consequences for human health if emissions
of sulphur dioxide were not curbed. SEPA was drafting a program 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, Xinhua 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.