85% of heavy industry in Hebei, Jiangsu exceeding emissions cap - Greenpeace

Press release - 2015-04-24
Beijing, 24 April 2015 - Up to 85% of heavy industry in two of China’s most polluted provinces, Jiangsu and Hebei, are illegally exceeding emissions caps set out in the central government’s first Air Pollution Action Plan, according to analysis released today from Greenpeace East Asia.

“Our findings show that after more than a year since the action plan was initiated, there are widespread problems in actually enforcing the cap on emissions. If we are to have a chance at breathing clean air in cities like Beijing, then we need these factories to respect the cap and for the government to transition towards clean, renewable energy sources,” said Zhang Kai, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.

Of the 183 coal, iron, steel and cement factories in Hebei, a province near Beijing, only two met their emissions standards, while in Jiangsu, nearly half were considered to be ‘seriously over-polluting’.

Both Hebei and Jiangsu provinces are the focal point for industry in China’s two major pollution areas: the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Yangtze River Delta regions. Over 80% of emissions in these provinces come from industry such as coal, iron and steel, and cement factories.

“While we welcome how transparently the government is reporting this data, it does paint a bleak picture of what the reality is one the ground. We believe that if current emissions are not improved soon, then Jiangsu will find it very difficult to meet its 20% emissions reduction target by 2017, and Hebei will also struggle to shake off its reputation as being a heavily polluted province,” said Zhang Kai.

These findings follow a report Greenpeace East Asia released 21 April, revealing that 90% of the 360 cities reporting on pollution data for the first quarter of 2015 do not meet China’s own air quality standards.

The provinces of Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan, all located in either central or western China, were among the 10 worst polluted provinces in the first quarter of 2015. However, coastal regions and cities such as Beijing, where measures to control pollution had been enacted, have modestly improved in the last 12 months.

Greenpeace urges the Chinese government to enforce a regional coal cap and ensure that PM2.5 control measures and improvement targets are implemented across the whole country. This means establishing PM2.5 targets for China's landlocked provinces and to continue the extensive disclosure of PM2.5 data as a basis for better informed, nationwide policies.

Notes:

Find out more about China’s air pollution problem here: www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/air-pollution


Media contacts

Tristan Tremschnig, Communications Hub Manager – Asia Pacific (based in Hong Kong),
Email: phone: +852 9712 3301

Yu Chong, Senior Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia (Beijing),
Email: phone: +86-13810784274

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