One Word, China: Insulation

China's going to have a tough time meeting its climate targets. One thing that'll help? Better insulation.

Winter smog chokes huge swathes of China.

Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

How hard will it be for China to fulfill its end of the climate deal signed with the United States this week? The extraordinary means that the Chinese government used to reduce Beijing’s air pollution in advance of and during the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit offer some sobering hints. Among other measures, city residents were given a six-day vacation, factories were shut down, traffic restrictions were imposed, even the small coal heaters that poor villagers outside of the city use to heat their beds were banned temporarily. Yet despite these extraordinary efforts targeted at just one city, pollution remained high enough that the Chinese government took the added step of censoring the U.S. embassy’s unflattering air quality data for Beijing.

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