CHINA TAKING STEPS TO ADDRESS COAL USE
As China faces one of its worst air pollution incidents to date, leading to a national smog red alert, the country is taking a variety of steps to combat coal-fired electricity production by 2020. The Chinese government is planning to create a nationwide emissions permitting system to cover all major industrial sectors, is placing stricter emissions caps for sulfur dioxide on a larger number of industries, hoping to cut sulfur dioxide emissions 15% in the next 3 years, and is upgrading coal plants of 300,000 KW capacity to improve efficiency. China also intends to promote public transportation so it comprises 30% of total urban traffic in 2020. In addition to stricter pollution control, China is planning to invest $361 billion in installing renewable energy technologies for electricity production. These regulations are accompanied by stringent enforcement: 605 coal-fired power plants were fined a combined $47 million for breaching environmental regulations. Despite this progress, coal output is expected to increase 4% in the next 3 years. For the full stories, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution-idUKKBN14Q0C7; http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-energy-renewables-idUKKBN14P06P; http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-pollution-idUKKBN14K073; and http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-environment-power-idUKKBN14I103.