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All it takes is a few kids with frostbite to foil a great government plan (and coal saves the day)

To cut smog and PM 2.5 pollution the Chinese government banned coal fired heating in 28 cities in Northern China and ordered them to convert to gas. But things aren’t going too well:

Public anger boiled over after China Youth Daily published video images of children at a primary school in Hebei province’s Quyang county who were forced to sit outside in the winter sun because their classrooms were too cold.

The Ministry of Education demanded “immediate” action to provide heating after students at another primary school showed signs of frostbite, the official English-language China Daily said.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time:

A joint government and municipal action plan for the 28 cities was released as far back as last March, calling for Beijing, Tianjin, Langfang and Baoding to ban small coal- fired furnaces by the end of October, among a host of other measures for the region.

“Areas in these cities will be declared completely ‘coal free,'” the official Xinhua news agency reported on March 31.

Communism fails for the 300th time:

Despite efforts to shift the blame, responsibility for the poor policy coordination seemed to fall squarely on the NDRC and the central government.

Coal futures at record highs:

The impact on gas supplies has already driven coal prices to new highs. On Dec. 11, coal futures hit a record of 689.8 yuan (U.S. $104.86) per metric ton, Reuters said.

Small coal burners are inefficient, so a gas transition could be a good thing, but sometimes when bureaucrats click fingers, kids lose them.

h/t GWPF

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