China to Close 2,000 Factories In Drive to Improve Energy Efficiency

The Chinese government has ordered the closure of 2,087 aging steel and cement mills and other factories in an aggressive push to improve the country’s energy efficiency. The closings — which target “backward” facilities that produce steel, coke, paper, and other products — are part of a drive to reduce energy consumption per unit of economic output by 20 percent this year compared to 2005.

As energy demands continue to surge, Chinese leaders have become increasingly concerned about reliance on imported oil and gas and growing air and water pollution. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the factory closings are intended to “realize a transformation of industry from being big to being strong.” China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

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