China To Spend $780 Million To Curb Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

To reduce emissions by 650,000 tons at 31 of the biggest plants, China plans to invest 6.43 billion yuan ($780 million dollars) to curb sulfur dioxide emissions spewing from the coal-fired power plants that are fueling its economic growth, state media said March 21.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's coal consumption increased 13.6% to 1.58 billion tons in 2003, with sulfur dioxide emissions jumping 15.75%. With more than 60% of China's power plants burning coal to generate electricity, coal consumption is expected to reach 1.8 billion tons this year. Accordingly, sulfur dioxide emissions are forecast to increase by six million tons to nearly 20 million tons in 2005, the report said.

China, the world's second biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the U.S., is a member of the Kyoto Protocol but with a developing country tag it does not have to meet specific targets for cutting emissions. At the Bonn conference on renewable energy last June, China pledged to increase its installed renewable energy generating capacity to about 60 gigawatts by 2010, about 10% of total power capacity.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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