China Orders Nationwide Emission Cuts by 2015

Amid growing concerns about pollution and the environment, the state council has ordered local governments to reduce the number of emissions of “major pollutants” by 2015. The list of pollutants includes emissions such as sulfur dioxide, but carbon was not on the list. The Telegraph reports:

Authorities will also start to monitor the smallest and most dangerous airborne pollution, known as PM2.5, in densely populated areas such as Beijing and Tianjin, the government said in a statement on its environmental targets.

“Urban and rural drinking water supply and environmental security should be protected effectively, water quality should be improved greatly and heavy metal pollution should be controlled effectively.”

The council has also vowed to improve the safety of nuclear energy production and lower the number of cars registered before 2005 on the road. These announcements come after protests that claim that the environment is ruining the people’s health. AFP adds:

Millions of Chinese went online to vent their anger after thick smog blanketed Beijing earlier this month, raising health fears and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Public angst in the Chinese capital over heavy pollution has been compounded by official data showing air quality is good, or only slightly polluted, when smog is visible and figures published by the US embassy rank it as “very unhealthy”.

Protests over environmental pollution are also increasing. In the latest incident, residents in the southern town of Haimen stormed government buildings on Tuesday to protest against a power plant they say is damaging their health.

See also: Beijing air quality officially at crisis level via CDT.