China won’t renew harsh restrictions on coal and steel production capacity originally targeted at cut air pollution, as the country’s trade war with the US has begun to affect growth.
Rather, local governments will have to decide how to meet emission targets during the smog-prone winter season, which runs from November to March.
By imposing emissions targets rather than specific production cuts, Financial Times reports, China has shifted its focus from general well-being to boosting growth.
The stricter production curbs imposed put the world’s top steel maker and coal miner on track to meet its 2020 targets in the government’s five-year plan about two years ahead of schedule. But buy transferring responsibility to local rather than central officials could weaken enforcement of those rules and end up having a negative impact on the country’s targets, Lauri Millilitre, a campaigner at environmental group Greenpeace, told FT.com.
Some restrictions to coal and steel production will be in place, but with more relaxed targets. For instance, the yearly average concentrations of particulate matters, known as PM2.5, is still set to be reduced, but by only 3 percent, instead of the previously proposed 5 percent target.
And blanket production cuts on steel has been eliminated completely, as long as producers meet emissions targets.