World Bank to help China combat urban pollution
Beijing and other Chinese cities are breathing easier following a pledge of financial support from the World Bank to help clean their air. The Bank announced last week that it would provide some of the nation’s smoggiest corridors a total of US$500 million to support “innovative financing” for pollution control.
The national capital region, which encompasses the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, along with Hebei province, is among the areas to receive assistance, the advisory says. The loan also would help Shandong, Shanxi and Henan provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Priorities include improving energy efficiency and abatement measures intended to reduce the release of dangerous emissions. Other goals involve replacing coal with cleaner alternatives and increasing reliance on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. In addition, the funds are to help China create a Green Finance Center that would pilot new lending models designed to spur clean energy.
The World Bank contribution is toward a broader financing initiative that aims to distribute US$1.4 billion in loans to China from 2016 to 2022. China’s Hua Xia Bank will invest an addtional US$500 million.