China invests $372B to cut pollution, energy use

China is spending $372 billion on energy conservation and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, reports Reuters.

The measures, meant to reduce China's dependence on fossil fuels and slow down its carbon emissions, are part of the so-called 12th five-year plan. They will center on energy-efficiency, emissions reduction and recycling projects, says the China State Council. 

The investments will help the country get halfway toward its goal of cutting energy intensity by 16 percent below 2010 levels by 2015, says the council.

China is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases; it plans to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

While the country's ministers did not detail exactly where the money will be spent, $155 billion will go toward energy efficiency projects, especially those in the industrial sector.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is targeting a 21 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2015. That means steel producers must cut energy use per unit of production by 25 percent, coal-fired power plants by 8 percent and cement manufacturers by 3 percent.

Image of a factory at Yangtze River in China via Wikimedia Commons

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