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China unveils new plan for green industry
August 12, 2013, 9:04 am

Officials say more needs to be done to improve China's air quality [Xinhua]

Pollution has been an issue of increasing public concern in Chinese cities [Xinhua]

China’s State Council has announced new measures to boost green industries in a bid to combat pollution and environmental degradation.

The Asian nation has set a target of raising $729.7 billion for environmental protection industries by 2015.

The new document published on Monday states a renewed impetus on technological innovation and expanding consumption of ‘green products’.

China will also establish pricing schemes of renewable energy and implement tiered prices for household water and gas consumption, according to the document.

Pilot programmes for emissions and carbon trading will also be carried out.

A new deal reached during a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in June agreed that the US and China – the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – would work to reduce the fastest growing source of emissions, the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.

The White House said on its website that the deal could potentially reduce the equivalent of some 90 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050, or about a year’s worth of current greenhouse gas emissions.

Foreign firms in China working under environment protection rules will enjoy the same industrial preferential policy with their Chinese counterparts, the State Council added in the recent document.

In July, China announced that it would allocate over three trillion yuan ($489.3 billion) to combat the growing pollution of the country’s water and environment.

A recent report from the National People’s Congress Environment and Resources Protection Committee said as China steps up its industrialisation and urbanisation drive, environmental pollution and ecological degradation may worsen.

Pollution has been an issue of increasing public concern in Chinese cities.

In Beijing, the concentration of airborne particles, called PM 2.5, in January this year averaged nine times the safe level defined by the World Health Organisation.

With inputs from Agencies