China gets 75% of its electricity from generating stations driven by coal. The resulting air-borne pollution threatens the health of residents in large Chinese cities. On the worst days, these residents breathe not air but smog, smog that contains levels of toxic gases and particulates far beyond well-established limits.
The Chinese Government recognizes that poor air quality is causing a public health crisis. This recognition drives China’s policy of fast-tracking development of renewable energy – more so than the need for lower carbon emissions or energy security.
China is taking forceful measures to mitigate air-borne pollution, measures that will also reduce CO2 emissions. For example, Beijing, one of China’s more seriously affected cities, announced new laws to cut emissions from vehicles. Here are some of the provisions:
- new car registration will be reduced by 37.5%;
- of these new registrations 40% must be new energy vehicles;
- total number of vehicles licenced for Beijing will not exceed 6 million,