The former violator, now stands as the worldwide “crusader”, the world’s biggest communist nation has showed another battle against rampant pollution.
The biggest communist country is now gearing up for an all-out blitz on polluters flouting emissions standards, closing tens of thousands of factories in a massive effort to address the nation’s catastrophic pollution problems.
With the coming measures, it is estimated that the crackdown could affect as much as 40 percent of China’s factories have been temporarily closed by safety inspectors, with officials from more than 80,000 factories charged with criminal offences for breaching emissions limits over the past year.
The news was announced during the Communist Party congress its plan to cut the concentration of hazardous fine particulate matter (called PM2.5) from 47 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016 to 35 micrograms by 2035.
“It will be very difficult to reach the goal, and we need to make greater efforts to achieve it,” environmental protection minister Li Ganjie said at an event on Monday.
Last 2013, when the country started to began to tackle domestic pollution, Xi-Jinping led nation announced 10 measures to clean up the country’s air, including reducing emissions from heavily polluting industries by 30 percent by the end of 2017.
Furthermore, in order to help hit its targets, China has ramped up factory and power plant inspections in the past two years across several provinces, to make sure thousands of companies aren’t breaching emissions laws.
“[B]asically, you’re seeing these inspectors go into factories for surprise inspections,” supply chain consultant Gary Huang from 80/20 Sourcing told NPR.
“They’re instituting daily fines, and sometimes – in the real severe cases – criminal enforcement. People are getting put in jail,” Huang added.
The latest move – which could carry with them the risk of harming China’s strong economic growth, despite the government’s claims otherwise – won’t just result in bluer skies.
Meanwhile, the crusade’s hoped that by cracking down on polluters, Beijing will also see cleaner water and enjoy a vast range of ecological benefits – plus of course, breathe easier.
“For those areas that have suffered ecological damage, their leaders and cadres will be held responsible for life,” said deputy director of the Communist Party’s Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, Yang Weimin, in an interview with The New York Times.
“Our people will be able to see stars at night and hear birds chirp,” Weimin said.
As of posting, power plants and factories are still adjusting and creating brand new strategy to the new, unflinching enforcement of the environmental regime, and while thousands of companies are experiencing hardship right now, many think the industry will adapt with better, smarter, and safer ways of doing business that ultimately don’t endanger Chinese air – or the planet as a whole.