China Fights Back on Pollution: 5 Million Older Vehicles Off The Road

Digital commercial television screens playing an actual sunrise in Beijing 1 photo
China’s government has recently announced big plans to reduce the massive pollution the country is struggling with. 5 million older vehicles will be taken off the road this year, after the world’s most populous country failed to meet official pollution-reduction goals for 2011-2013.
We all remember those huge digital commercial television screens playing an actual sunrise in Beijing, while a wave of extremely dangerous smog hit the town and wrapped everything in a thick gray haze. Well, all that pollution seems to really worry the Communist Government know, so they decided they are going to take imediat action.

The order comes after China failed to meet official pollution-reduction goals for 2011-2013, the statement made Monday said. Reportedly, vehicles registered before 2005 that fail to meet cleaner emissions standards will be “phased out,” though it did not say how.

Considering the Asian state has some of the world’s strictest emissions standards, it is anomalous that the country’s environmental situation is, as called by the government itself, “extremely grim”. However, authorities have not enforced these strict standards to their fullest. Their mild reaction is understandable, considering that forcing older, pollution-belching trucks off the road meant affecting smaller businesses.

Moreover, the plan also calls for the gas stations in Beijing, Shanghai and other major urban areas to switch to selling only the cleanest grades of gasoline and diesel, according to a Cabinet statement issued Monday.

Leading at carbon dioxide emissions and at investing in renewable energy

Having a population over 1.35 billion, China is a country of extreme contrast when it comes to the environment. While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent, they are poorly enforced, as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favor of rapid economic development. The World Bank estimated, in 2013, that 16 of the world’s 20 most-polluted cities are located in China. The country is the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter, having also plenty of problems with air and safe drinking water.

On the other hand, China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy commercialization, with $52 billion (EUR 38 billion) invested in 2011 alone. In 2013, China began a five-year, $277-billion (EUR 202 billion) effort to reduce air pollution, particularly in the north of the country.

As to the car industry, in case you didn’t know, China has about 240 million vehicles on the road, half of those are passenger cars, according to the Ministry of Public Security. We are looking at the world’s biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, as well.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories