Some of the world's most notoriously smoggy cities are hoping for relief in a new plan taking aim at what's coming out of their tailpipes. In response to serious air pollution problems and an attempt to meet emissions standards, China plans to decommission more than 5 million aging vehicles by the end of 2014. 330,000 of the cars being retired will come from Beijing, which sees some 31 percent of its PM2.5 particulate matter coming from vehicle emissions. In all, 20 percent of the vehicles being scrapped will come from Beijing, Tianjin, and the surrounding Hebei province. China also plans to remove up to 5 million additional cars next year.

Exactly how China plans to remove the offending vehicles remains unclear.

China's State Council says that due to failing to keep up with pollution targets, the country now needs to work even harder to cut emissions over the next two years. The problem is quite serious, after all. A big part of this plan is removing the "yellow label" vehicles that don't meet China's fuel standards. Exactly how China plans to remove the offending vehicles remains unclear, but past projects suggest the possibility of offering cash subsidies to some drivers. Previously, Beijing has paid drivers who voluntarily gave up their older vehicles, but the incentives weren't given to owners of the yellow label cars. China has trouble enforcing emissions standards, and Li Kunsheng, an official at the Beijing municipal environmental bureau doesn't see fining drivers as a viable option for solving the pollution problem. It'll be interesting to see how China decides to implement this new plan to get rid of old clunkers. Similar, smaller scrapping plans have been tried before.

In addition to controlling the number of cars on the road and scrapping the worst polluters, China will focus on upgrading fuel quality, closing coal-powered heating systems, updating power stations, steel mills and cement plants, and reducing energy consumption in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and alleviate its pollution problems.


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  • 60 Comments
      CATMAN3400
      • 11 Months Ago
      As the city of Beijing and the surrounding areas are so polluted, the Obama, the Michelle, and their kids...will have to go to OTHER areas of China, if they want to eat their Chicquita bananas, slices of watermelons, and pieces of Kentcky Fried Chickens..."hot and spicy style" of course....out of doors. Right? God bless them. hee hee hee
      Victor Hoyles
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Exactly how China plans to remove the offending vehicles remains unclear." Nice pun.
      Ryan
      • 11 Months Ago
      If they do "Cash for Clunkers" part 2, make sure the old cars get traded in for vehicles that can get 40+ mpg or for a public transport pass.
      ectullis
      • 11 Months Ago
      Cash for clinkers?
      United
      • 11 Months Ago
      Solution: Remove all Chinese branded cars from road.
      Kimura
      • 11 Months Ago
      "China about to unleash massive anti-clunker policy" So every home grown/copied Chinese manufactured car? That IS massive. Bazinga
      Dimas
      • 11 Months Ago
      China is outta control. They need to shut down all their coal plants and move to nuclear energy. And stop burning forests.
        Spec
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Dimas
        How about shut down the coal and do a mix of nuclear, natural gas, solar PV, hydropower, and wind turbines?
          Actionable Mango
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Spec
          You left out tidal generators, landfill methane reclamation, and hamsters on wheels.
        JakeY
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Dimas
        China's building nukes, but realistically they are too expensive and take too long to build to replace all the coal plants they are using. The main replacement for coal plants in China will be NGCC plants (which is why they signed that natural gas deal with Russia).
          Aaron
          • 11 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          The problem isn't the electricity plants powered by coal, it's the *heaters* powered by coal. Yes, really. China's pollution problems typically start at the beginning of winter and lessen at the end. Cars aren't helping the problem either, of course.
      danfred311
      • 11 Months Ago
      Just make light efficient EVs, ya dummies
      thefiend1
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Exactly how China plans to remove the offending vehicles remains unclear."
        thefiend1
        • 11 Months Ago
        @thefiend1
        For some reason the comment nullified my other sentences... I was going to say... I hope the plan on recycling the vehicles and in an environmentally friendly way.
          thefiend1
          • 11 Months Ago
          @thefiend1
          @Victor - exactly. I know we outsource a lot of things to China and other places to recycle things but who really knows how they are doing it. I hope they are doing it in an environmentally responsible way but some how I doubt that. That's the whole point of recycling. Hopefully in the near future there will be some sort of 'oversight' division that keeps an eye on all of that.
          Victor Hoyles
          • 11 Months Ago
          @thefiend1
          If there's one thing China is good at, it's recycling. However, doing it environmentally friendly is a whole different question.
        ferps
        • 11 Months Ago
        @thefiend1
        they'll probably put them in a big pile and set them on fire, and then wonder why pollution is so bad.
      ectullis
      • 11 Months Ago
      Cash for clunkers?
      Phlegming Liberal
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ha! Imagine our government trying to force some red necks to get rid of their smog producing 20-year old diesel or gas trucks with the confederate flags, it'll be a revolution!
        Shazaam
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        Or imagine the government forcing poor urban democrats to give up their chevy astro vans and explorer SUVs that get 7 mpg. Go back to reading the Onion for your daily news.
        Shazaam
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        Or imagine the government forcing poor urban democrats to give up their chevy astro vans and explorer SUVs that get 7 mpg. Go back to reading the Onion for your daily news.
        Shazaam
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        Or imagine the government forcing poor urban democrats to give up their chevy astro vans and explorer SUVs that get 7 mpg. Go back to reading the Onion for your daily news.
        Shazaam
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        Or imagine the government forcing poor urban democrats to give up their chevy astro vans and explorer SUVs that get 7 mpg. Go back to reading the Onion for your daily news.
        Shazaam
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        Or imagine the government forcing poor urban democrats to give up their chevy astro vans and explorer SUVs that get 7 mpg. Go back to reading the Onion for your daily news.
      Carzzz
      • 11 Months Ago
      walking out of the airport was like walking into a bathroom after someone had just taken a hot shower with a running car.
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