China Bans Coal Plants in Big Cities

In a much-needed and long-awaited gambit to improve air quality and reduce acid rain, China has banned coal-fired power plants in major cities across the nation. The ban applies to Beijing, Shanghai, and 21 provincial capitals, which together produce approximately 60 percent of China’s sulfur dioxide emissions. Sulfur dioxide is the leading cause of acid rain, which plagues a third of the massive country. Strict new environmental laws will also require thermoelectric energy projects in big and medium-sized cities to meet federal environmental protection standards.