Chinese super polluters now face execution, by @DavidOAtkins

Chinese super polluters now face execution

by David Atkins

Next time your Republican uncle Joe tells you that the U.S. shouldn't do anything about climate change because China and India need to act first, you can send him this:

China has introduced “harsher punishments” for breaking the nation’s environmental protection laws: reckless violators of pollution standards in the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economy now face execution.

A new judicial interpretation taking effect on Wednesday has tightened Chinese “lax and superficial” enforcement of environmental protection laws, Xinhua reported citing a government statement.

The government is set to introduce a “precise criteria for convictions and sentencing” while the “judicial explanation provides a powerful legal weapon.” Law enforcement should take environmental regulations seriously and “all force should be mobilized to uncover law-breaking clues of environmental pollution in a timely way,” the statement reads.

Earlier this month the cabinet approved new measures to combat air pollution as social discontent over the air quality in urban centers continues to rise.

To help tackle the environmental danger, Beijing has promised to focus more on solar energy, despite ongoing trade disputes with the United States and Europe.
There are many extreme and horrifying disadvantages to having an economy and society as tightly managed as China's. Execution for non-capital crimes is unconscionable. But one silver lining to running a country that way is the ability of government officials to turn public policy on a dime.

After decades of neglect, China is now taking both environmental pollution and climate change very seriously. No longer can Americans use the Chinese as an excuse for failure to act. Our failure is on us.