Beijing: Ahead of an international climate conference in South Africa, the world`s top carbon emitter China announced plans on Sunday to shut down "highly polluting and energy guzzling factories" in Beijing and Shenzhen, two of its most industrialised cities, over the next five years.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology said it will ask small-sized polluters, as well as companies that consume large amounts of energy or have evident safety risks, to shut down or move out of the city.
Beijing will also set up small-loan lending firms, as well as township and residential community banks, to support small and medium-sized enterprises, it said in a statement.
Shenzhen, a southern economic powerhouse that borders Hong Kong, plans to shut down or shift 10,000 similar low-cost factories over the next five years.
The shutdown will give the local government 7.5 million square meters of land to develop into high-end industry, state run Xinhua quoted Science, Industry, Trade and Information Technology Commission as saying.
Shenzhen mayor Xu Qin said 4,000 factories will be transferred to an industrial park in the neighbouring city of Shanwei and 5,500 will be shifted to other cities in Guangdong province.
The plans were announced ahead of the 10-day Durban climate conference where China along with India and other developing countries geared up for a possible showdown with developed countries over the continuing of the Kyoto Protocol which had set a binding targets for developed nations.
China also released a report claiming that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 billion tonnes between 2006 and 2010, the biggest decrease by any country in the period.
The country`s energy intensity in 2010, or energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), reduced by 19.1 percent from the level of 2005, equal to saving the energy consumption of 630 million tonnes of standard coal, and resulting in the emission of 1.5 billion fewer tonnes of greenhouse gas, a report on China`s low-carbon development, said.
Although China has become a major carbon emitter, it has realised the biggest carbon emission reduction across the world, state-run Xinhua quoted a statement from the report`s research team as saying.