China’s push for blue skies once again by sending an army of inspectors to check and force some factories in the world’s top commodities market to close or suspend operations. Thousands of containers have been delayed , leaving many buyers feeling hostage and wondering when this crisis would be over .
On August 9th, China launched a new round of central environmental inspections covering eight provincial-level areas, as the country finishes nationwide investigations into local environmental protection efforts. A total of eight provinces including: Jilin, Zhejiang and Shandong provinces will be the most hit hard .
Air quality has worsened in the first seven months of the year in China’s northern region, including Hebei province and the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. The problem is serious. Beijing has spent much of this winter on yellow alert, a level of pollution that would be considered catastrophic in many other places but is business as usual in China. To avoid bad publicity, China rarely issues red alerts, even when smog levels warrant them.
China is very serious about the environment in its 13th Five-Year Plan 2016-2020, The plan lays out targets and measures to address several sustainability challenges—including eliminating inefficient, outdated, or overcapacity industries and production facilities, increasing renewable energy production, and developing green infrastructure.
The government is stepping in once again with its “War on Pollution”, to bring back the blue sky and make China Greener. Ten of thousands of factories have been close so far this year, creating a disruption of the whole supply chain, raising the price of raw materials and affecting china export performance.
Only this year in the city of Tianjin, over 10000 polluting companies were ordered to suspend production or shut down by June, and a total of $185 Millions of fines have been issued. I, myself for the moment, have 6 containers that cannot be shipped because the factories are closed. Factories prefer to close than being inspected to avoid a huge fine which can lead them to bankruptcy.Nobody knows exactly when the campaign will be over , and the only thing I have been told is to wait .
Tough really tough times once again for Chinese factories .As a business, survival needs profits, and profits are made under the pre-condition that we abide by the provisions or requirements of the government.
BY Jamal Mernissi
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