China urges green-equipment thrust to check pollution

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is urging local authorities to speed up the development of its environmental equipment manufacturing industry, in a drive to bring down pollution to acceptable limits.

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist rides along a street in heavy smog during a polluted day in Liaocheng, Shandong province, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

The country aims to increase supplies of advanced environmental protection equipments and boost the output of the industry to 1 trillion yuan ($150.53 billion) by 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The industry, which makes products such as waste gas purification and garbage sorting devices, had a market value of 620 billion yuan in 2016.

Manufacturers will be encouraged to invest and launch new products in key sectors including air and water pollution control, soil treatment, solid waste disposal and recycle system.

The country aims to bring the hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 down to 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017 and to meet air quality standards by 2035.

Firms in high-polluted steel, non-ferrous metal, chemical and building materials sectors should put new environmental equipments in use in a bid to curb emission, the statement said.

China has been increasingly focusing on industrial emission during its recent inspections. Steel mills located in northern China were forced to shut if fail to meet emission standards by end of September.

Conventional manufacturing firms will also be encouraged to extend their business into environmental equipment sector to help improve the production chain.

More financial support from the government will be available to boost green manufacturing and technology innovation, according to the MIIT statement.

“(Local authorities) should promote green credit, green bond and other financial products to increase the support of environmental manufacturing,” it added.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Vyas Mohan