Geoffrey Lean: Climate fears prompt energy U-turn in China

From the Independent :

China has abruptly slowed and halted work on building 22 major dams and power stations in a dramatic greening of the policies of the world’s most populous nation.

The surprise move – one of the most dramatic ever undertaken by any government – arises from rapidly growing environmental concern in China. It calls the bluff of President George Bush, who has cited growing pollution in China as justification for refusing to join the Kyoto Protocol, which enters into force on Wednesday.

Last week Tony Blair went out of his way to welcome China’s readiness to take “a real lead” in combating global warming. In the first instance of its kind, the Chinese State Environment Protection Agency laid down that the projects – which cover 13 of the country’s provinces and are worth a total of ¬£7.5bn – should not proceed until their impact on the environment had been reviewed. Among the halted projects is an important power facility at the highly controversial Three Gorges dam on the Yangtse River.

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