China’s government has directed law enforcement officials to inspect outdoor barbecues and construction sites in a desperate effort to reduce the country’s crippling smog levels, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Additional measures are also being taken to crack down on the country’s acrid smog — the Shijiazhuang city government in Hebei province, for instance, has instructed all car owners with certain number plates to drive only on specific days until the end of the year.
The Hebei province has halted seven major industries in the city, including steel, cement and glass, in order to fight smog and reduce its associated health problems, reports Xinhua.
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection reported in early November that smog concentrations in the country’s capital, Beijing, were higher in October than they were during the same period last year.
China may be the world’s new global leader in the fight against so-called man-made global warming.
“I am confident China will take a lead role,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, in response to questions about the impact of President-elect Donald Trump on the global fight against climate change.
China is determined to curb its pollution problem and become a “clean energy superpower” to prevent heat waves, droughts, floods and other costly issues. One million people died from dirty air in China in 2012, according to the World Health Organization.
A similar crackdown on smog in the U.S. is becoming an expensive boondoggle.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) previously estimated its stricter smog limits would only cost Americans $1.4 billion a year, but critics now argue the total cost to the economy is likely 40 times higher.
Observers believe the EPA’s ground-level ozone rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties unable to comply with the agency’s 2008 rule.
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