When Shutting Down Polluters Doesn’t Work, China Turns To the Market – Alex Pasternack
While the notion that environmental protection can be good for business certainly hasn’t gone mainstream in capitalist China, this year the country has made some bold attempts to make pollution bad for business. In lieu of national policies backed up by a strong legal system — or just good ol’ fashioned brute force — the government has recently announced market-based disincentives for heavy polluters, like raising the threshold for investment in energy intensive industries and eliminating tax breaks.
Now the ambitious leader of the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) , Pan Yue, is pushing for a system of “green credit ..” The idea, which sounds new to me, is to restrict heavy polluters from access to fresh credit. It’s part of a growing push for what’s becoming feared as “green tightening,” economic policies to stop polluters. Pan also released a blacklist of 30 medium-sized companies to whom credit should be immediately denied. [Full Text]