China makes fresh promises on air pollution, pledges support for solar

Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:43am EDT
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's cabinet approved new measures to combat air pollution on Friday, in the latest step by China's new leadership to address the country's enormous environmental problems, with pollution a key source of rising social discontent in China.

The government also promised to support China's troubled solar power industry, despite problems with overcapacity and ongoing trade disputes with the United States and Europe.

In a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, the State Council approved 10 anti-pollution measures, the council said in a statement posted on its website late Friday.

In particular, the State Council promised to:

- Accelerate the installation of pollution control equipment on small, coal-fuelled refineries.

- Curb the growth of high-energy-consuming industries like steel, cement, aluminum, and glass.

- Reduce emissions per unit of GDP in key industries by at least 30 percent by the end of 2017.

- Improve indicators used to evaluate the environmental impact of new projects and deny administrative approvals, financing, land, and other support to projects that fail to meet high standards.

- Strengthen enforcement and collection of fees and penalties that companies pay based on their emissions.   Continued...

A statue of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong is seen in front of buildings during a hazy day in Shenyang, Liaoning province, May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer