Nearly 15,000 companies tested in 28 cities across China are failing basic environmental standards, according to the communist country’s state-run media.
China’s Xinhua news agency found that 13,785 companies – or more than 70 percent of those inspected – violated the country’s environmental standards, including emitting excessive carbon emissions and using insufficient pollution control equipment.
The inspections were conducted in 28 cities throughout the smoggy Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and other nearby areas, the outlet reported Sunday. China is trying to find a way to mitigate its heavy pollution. Officials forged a lofty plan to integrate the three regions to relocate heavy industry away from densely populated areas
The findings come at an inopportune moment for China, which has promised to peak total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or earlier while reducing its emissions to gross product ratio. The pledge was made during negotiations with members of the heavily embattled Paris agreement on climate change. The deal aims to keep so-called man-made global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and commits the U.S. to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
China is increasing rather than decreasing coal generation. The government plans to increase coal capacity up to 20 percent. Officials also have a five-year plan that would “raise coal-fired power capacity from around 900 gigawatts last year to as high as 1,100 gigawatts by 2020,” which is “more than the total power capacity of Canada,” The Wall Street Journal reported last year.
Data show coal power generation in China hit a record 396.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in March, a number nearly 8 percent above coal generation the previous year. That came after China generated a record-breaking 385.6 billion kWh in December 2016, Platts reported. Climate scientists consider coal production to be the primary contributor to global warming.
China’s coal plants are part of a $33 billion agreement between China and Pakistan to electrify the region, which Pakistani officials argue is needed to meet the country’s energy and economic needs for several decades
The country is the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, followed by the U.S. — many climate scientists argue greenhouse gasses contribute to climate change. There is no indication China has any intention of reducing these levels, even as environmentalists and academics continue to claim the country is on the right track.
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