Planet Gore

China Shuts Down 2,000 Factories to Save Energy

Tom Friedman, eat your heart out. New York Times:

HONG KONG — Earlier this summer, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China promised to use an “iron hand” to improve his country’s energy efficiency, and a growing number of businesses are now discovering that it feels like a fist.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology quietly published a list late Sunday of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to close by Sept. 30.

Energy analysts described it as a significant step toward the country’s energy-efficiency goals, but not enough by itself to achieve them.

Over the years, provincial and municipal officials have sometimes tried to block Beijing’s attempts to close aging factories in their jurisdictions.

These officials have particularly sought to protect older steel mills and other heavy industrial operations that frequently have thousands of employees and have sometimes provided workers with housing, athletic facilities and other benefits since the 1950s or 1960s.

To prevent such local obstruction this time, the ministry said in a statement on its Web site that the factories on its list would be barred from obtaining bank loans, export credits, business licenses and land. The ministry even warned that their electricity would be shut off, if necessary.

The rest here.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Celebrity Activists Do Not Help

Michelle Williams, an actress, has decided to become a spokesman on the issue of pay inequality in her profession, and appears this month on the cover of Vanity Fair with a headline to that effect. This decision follows what she describes as a humiliating episode in which she learned in the pages of USA Today ... Read More
Culture

Washington in the Flesh, Almost

Canova's George Washington at the Frick Collection is the zenith of the museum's signature exhibition style. It's small, fewer than 20 objects. It's focused. It examines the creation of Antonio Canova's full-length sculpture of George Washington in Roman costume from 1821. It was Canova's (1757–1822) sole ... Read More