11 January 2016

Beijing will close 2,500 polluting firms in 2016

Beijing will shut down 2,500 polluting companies this year as part of its efforts to reduce pollution and meet environmental targets, according to city officials.

The districts of Fengtai, Fangshan, Tongzhou and Daxing in the Chinese capital will be required to close 2,500 small and polluting firms by the end of 2016 with other districts following their lead in 2017.

Changes in recent years have led to a significant reduction in heavily polluting and high energy-consuming companies in Beijing but small polluting sources including restaurants, hotels and garages have been increasing, said an official on Friday.

The city’s Vice Mayor Li Shixiang has ordered safety and risk assessment as well as comprehensive law enforcement in the closure of small polluters.

Beijing is aiming to eliminate the use of coal in six districts over two years and help 600,000 households shift from coal to clean energy by 2020.

The capital has been hit by severe cases of heavy smog in recent months and is planning to cut coal consumption by 500,000 tonnes this year and close all coal-fired boilers in the city by 2020.

Beijing’s average PM2.5 reading in 2015 was recorded at 80.6 microgrammes per cubic meter, 1.3 times higher than the national standard, according to official data.

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