China’s government plans to cut the country’s coal consumption and spend more time building its grain, edible oil and other commodity stockpiles as part of a raft of policies to tackle air pollution.
The country’s premier planning body announced that the country was going to spend 154.6 billion Yuan ($24.7 billion) this year to increase its grain and edible oil stockpiles.
This represents a 33% increase in spending and is seen by many experts as a move to take advantage of the low global commodity prices.
The country reported all time high imports for copper, iron ore and oil in 2014 as global key commodity prices fell to a five-year low.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also announced in its annual report that it was seeking to curb the number of energy intensive projects in highly polluted areas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the country is trying to strike a balance between tackling environmental pollution and running its economy at a pace sustainable for both employment and growth
As part of these efforts, the government is planning to build on a 2.9% decrease in coal production last year to strive towards zero growth of coal consumption in key industries.
The decrease in 2014 marked the first time in 14 years that Asia’s biggest economy had reported a decline in its coal consumption.
“We will strive for zero-growth in the consumption of coal in key areas of the country. Environmental pollution is a blight on people’s quality of life and a trouble that weighs on their hearts,” China’s Premier Li Keqiang said.
“For areas affected by severe smog, regions where conserving energy is difficult, and industries with overcapacity, we will strictly control the number of energy-intensive projects and implement policies for reducing coal use, and for replacing coal with alternative energy sources,”
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