Chinese cities like Beijing have experienced huge pollution problems for quite some time now. Finally, officials of the Chinese government have created a detailed plan which will work toward a renewable energy solution for this pollution problem. So far, 32 Chinese cities have been issued a severe pollution warning. Twenty-six other cities, including Beijing, have a secondary severe pollution warning. There are some media organizations which are calling this the “Airpocaloypse.”
The Chinese government’s energy agency announced that China is willing to spend as much as $360 billion toward investing in renewable energy solutions. The two biggest ones include wind energy and solar energy. The Chinese government plans to spend this money by 2020, which is a signal that China is seriously trying to shift away from being dependent on fossil fuels. This might prove to be difficult in some Chinese cities which are still mostly run by factories that are powered by fossil fuels. If these factories were to go away, then economic growth in these cities would decline drastically. Worst of all, unemployment would skyrocket.
The challenge that Chinese officials will have is to figure out a way to balance renewable energy with economic growth. There are periodically smog emergencies in cities which causes the Chinese government to shut down construction crews or factories that are creating too much smog. They’ve also gone ahead and limited the number of vehicles on the road. In extreme emergencies, they close schools and tell residents to stay inside their homes. Cities often get placed under “orange” or “red” alerts, depending on how serious the smog problem is there.
On December 31st, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection accused 2,682 officials for making a weak effort toward environmental protection. They even fined people and companies that broke anti-pollution laws.