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. China To Make It Harder For Heavy Polluters To Borrow Money

File image courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 30, 2007
China's environment watchdog said Monday it will make it harder for heavily energy-consuming, highly polluting industries to borrow money from the banks. The State Environmental Protection Administration will regularly hand over lists of violators of environmental rules to the central bank and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the administration said on its website. Banks must conduct strict investigations into loans to proposed projects based on the information and are forbidden from extending any credit to new projects that have not undergone proper environmental assessments, it said.

A blacklist of 30 companies, including paper makers, copper plants, steel firms, pharmaceutical manufacturers and breweries, has already been submitted to lenders across the country, said Pan Yue, the administration's deputy head.

Increasing the funding costs for heavy industries and even cutting off sources of credit for those companies that seriously violate the laws, have become an urgent matter for curbing their investment momentum, he added.

China has set goals of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent and cutting emissions of pollutants by 10 percent from levels in 2005 by 2010.

However, the job looks to be an increasingly tough one as high energy-consuming firms grew by 20.1 percent in the first half of the year after emission of air and water pollutants actually rose by two percent in 2006.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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