(Yicai Global) Dec. 23 -- To quell air pollution, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) released plans directing cities at and above prefecture level failing to meet PM 2.5 standards to reduce their local PM 2.5 concentrations by 18 percent on average by 2020. Also, the rate of hazard-free treatment for household waste in municipalities and cities specifically designated in state plans, as well as provincial capitals (completed districts), must be 100 percent by then.
The plan posted on MOHURD's website mandates that relevant departments must further encourage private capital to engage in the construction and operation of municipal environmental infrastructure such as sewers and waste treatment stations via models like public-private partnerships and legal investments in industrial investment funds to form a diversified investment mechanism consistent with urban, social and economic development. These agencies will moreover also deepen reform in pricing and taxation of resource products, and in the meantime conduct pilot programs, such as discharge permits and carbon-emission-rights transactions, as methods to develop and consummate the market-based mechanism.
The plan data indicates that only 22 percent of cities from the 338 monitored in 2015 based on new standards qualified. Heavy pollution in winter frequently besets the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its environs, as well as the Yangtze River delta.