China to take targeted measures to implement production halts on industrial firms

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China will take targeted measures to implement production halts on high energy-consuming industrial companies in a bid to encourage more environmentally friendly production, the Economic Information Daily reported Thursday.

Authorities are mulling a rating scheme for firms in 15 key industries including steel, coal and cement, and those with the highest pollutant emissions will be subject to the strictest production limits, the Xinhua-run newspaper said.

Those with an A-rating, the highest, will be required to suspend production only in extreme weather, while the C-rated companies will be subject to additional bans during the winter heating season, when pollution is the most severe.

Such measures will incentivize some high energy-consuming companies to upgrade their pollution-control facilities, analysts said.

China has launched a series of campaigns to fight pollution and environmental degradation, with thousands of officials punished for environmental damage following inspections by central authorities.

While implementing strict policies, authorities have reiterated that no "one-size-fits-all" approach should be adopted to address environmental issues, and blanket shutdowns of industrial activities are not acceptable.

According to Liu Bingjiang, an official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the rating scheme would address the "bad money drives out good" problem, as some high-emission steel firms currently invest far less in environmental protection than their low-emission counterparts.

"There is no way to implement the same control policies with these companies," Liu said.

China will continue to implement strict production control policies during this coming winter as the country is expected to meet many environmental targets next year, said Li Xinchuang, head of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute.

 

Email: lansuying@nbd.com.cn

Editor: Lan Suying