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Fixing the pollution problem may come at a price even this boom country can’t afford: slowing down

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A coal-fired power plant looms behind apartments in Tangshan, China. Greenpeace has estimated that particles from a single coal-fired power plant can drift 1,000 kilometres.

The Globe and Mail

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Women wear masks while waiting for bus during a smoggy day in Beijing on October 28, 2013. The city’s air quality index regularly tops 300, a level considered ‘hazardous.’

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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A man wearing a mask walks in front of the Forbidden City from the top of Jingshan Park. Beijing lies in a basin surrounded by mountains, and is close enough to the Gobi Desert that windborne particulates have been a problem since long before the invention of the automobile or power plants.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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A train carrying coal waits on tracks near a coal-fired power plant in Tangshan. There is no bigger coal market than China, which burned 3.8 billion tonnes of it last year – almost as much as the rest of the world combined.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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A pedestrians walk along a road as heavy smog engulfs Changcun, China, on Oct. 21, 2013. The pollution disturbed the traffic and forced the closing of schools.


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Gao Hui, marketing manager at Hongwei Iron & Steel outside Shigezhuang, examines structural steel at her plant, which uses natural gas but compensates for increased costs with gains in efficiency.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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