Air quality inspectors in China found “problems” at over 3,000 companies during the first 3 months of 2017, according to the country’s Environment Minister. These problems included: the widespread falsification of data, a failure to implement air pollution control measures strictly, various violations, and, in some instances, employees working to stop inspectors from making required checks.
It should be realized that that’s more than 3,000 companies with problems, out of a total of 8,500 that were checked (in 6 municipalities and provinces). So, a substantial portion of all the firms that were checked are in violation of various regulations, according to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Reuters provides more: “Some companies, including a firm owned by Foxconn subsidiary FIH mobile in Hebei province’s Langfang city, tried to stop inspectors from making checks, the ministry said. Others were found to be deliberating reporting false data, it said in an online statement. A representative for Apple supplier Foxconn said the company was not able to comment immediately in response.
“China says it is winning its ‘war on pollution’ after strengthening legislation, beefing up its monitoring capabilities and cracking down on hundreds of polluting firms, and says average air quality improved noticeably in 2016. However, official data published last week showed that air quality was markedly worse in the first 2 months of the year than the same period of 2016.”
When I made the comment recently that asking official emissions figures to come close to matching the reality on the ground (anywhere in the world) was asking a lot, and got some pushback from some commentators, this is the sort of reality that I was talking about. Fraud, deception, and criminal behavior pervade pretty much any industry you can think of (solar and wind energy included).
Anytime you get more than a couple of Homo sapiens working together on anything, you get monkey drama, lies, and theft. That’s just the reality of the matter (though, probably worsened by some aspects of modern culture and entertainment), so official emissions data and figures should probably always be taken with a grain of salt, in my opinion.
That said, China’s air pollution problems are so obvious and extreme (and growing) that it seems as though something will probably get done … maybe regulators there can even manage to make the official figures roughly correspond to the realities on the ground. We’ll see.