At the beginning of August, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that next year cars will be subject to tougher emissions standards.
According to a report in the Beijing Morning Post, by July 2013 all production, import, sales, and registration of heavy-duty petrol vehicles must comply with National Emission Standard IV (NES IV). Since the announcement, applications for vehicles that do not meet the country’s level IV emissions standards have not been approved.
As early as 2009, China published a directive stating that NES III-compliant diesel (with sulphur levels of 350 parts per million) would be available nationwide by July 1, 2011. To date, China’s oil companies have not achieved that goal.
Furthermore, NES IV-standard vehicles (with sulpher levels of 50 parts per million of sulpher) have not yet been officially promulgated. This has prompted the Ministry of Environmental Protection to hold back implementation of new vehicle standards by another 18 months, rescheduling the launch to July 1, 2013.
China’s efforts to improve vehicle emissions standards over the past decade have faced unprecedented difficulties. But the NES IV standard for heavy-duty vehicles sends a signal that China will continue to push this process forward.
Reportedly, the NES IV standard for light-duty vehicles was implemented in July 2011. And this year, Beijing will launch the fifth stage of vehicle emissions standards, with relevant provisions expected to be introduced in September.
This article is published as part of the Green Growth project, a collaboration between chinadialogue and The Energy Foundation.
Cheng Weixin helped find data for this article.
Translated by chinadialogue volunteer Marta Casey
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