China Shuts Down Factories to Fight Air Pollution

China Shuts Down Factories to Fight Air PollutionChina Shuts Down Factories to Fight Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the growing problems faced by the world at present. China is one of the main countries grappling with this problem and in order to combat it, Chinese government has started to shut down polluting factories.

Authorities from the Chinese environmental bureau have in the past several months temporarily closed down factories’ access to gas and electricity to check which ones comply with environmental laws and which ones don’t, as per a report by NPR, Brecorder.com reported.

According to a firm owner, “It had a big impact on our business. We couldn’t make the delivery date since we [were] shut down. It’s not just our factory. All the factories out here had this issue.”

With almost 40% of China’s factories temporarily closed down by safety inspectors, more thann 80,000 factory officials have been penalized by China’s Ministry of Environment because they violated environmental laws.

A supply chain consultant Gary Huang said, “Basically, you’re seeing these inspectors go into factories for surprise inspections. They’re instituting daily fines, and sometimes–in the real severe cases–criminal enforcement. People are getting put in jail.”

China’s Environmental Protection Minister Li Ganjie mentioned in a press conference that the country’s government is serious about addressing China’s air pollution. By 2035, they would reduce the concentration of particulate matter PM2.5 floating above China to 35 micrograms from 47.

“It will be very difficult to reach the goal, and we need to make greater efforts to achieve it,” Li said.

In order to achieve that goal, the country has tried to end its coal dependence by introducing solar and wind farms, banning non-electric cars, and developing “green finance” zones. These efforts are paying off too, as average PM2.5 levels were 2.3% lower in 2017 than in 2016.

Though the factory-closing move might harm China’s economic growth, the government claims otherwise. The government believes that apart from being able to breathe easier, the country would also see cleaner water and more ecological benefits.

Yang Weimin, deputy director of the Communist Party’s Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, told The New York Times, “For those areas that have suffered ecological damage, their leaders and cadres will be held responsible for life. Our people will be able to see stars at night and hear birds chirp.”

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