China’s State Council announced the plan to “eliminate” six million high-polluting pre-2005 vehicles by the end of this year and scrap a further five million from the country’s most polluted cities in 2015.
The announcement follows the revelation that China has fallen behind its binding target of reducing carbon emissions per unit of economic growth by 17 per cent between 2011 and 2015.
The scrappage scheme is reportedly intended to reduce carbon emissions more than four per cent this year and more than 3.5 per cent in 2015.
Data from the Ministry of Environmental Protection says 7.8 per cent of vehicles on China’s roads do not meet the minimum national standards.
Almost one third of the air pollution in the nation’s capital, Beijing, is from vehicle exhaust.
Approximately 330,000 high-polluting vehicles will be taken off Beijing’s roads this year, as well as 660,000 from Hebei province, home to seven of China’s smoggiest cities of 2013.
Other regions targeted by the plan include Tianjin and the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas.
The government has not outlined how it plans to remove vehicles from the road, though is expected to offer subsidies to drivers who voluntarily hand over their cars to be scrapped.
Image courtesy South China Morning Post.