In a previous post titled, "Bejiing Worst Smog in a Month - Green Roofs Can Help!" I wrote how the Chinese government is concerned that the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be spoiled by air pollution.
That concern is becoming a reality, with the government expanding its restrictions to a broader geographic surrounding Beijing. Aside from these restrictions, the government is taking positive steps to improve air quality through green buildings.
National Public Radio (NPR) did a story about green buildings and green roofs in Beijing. You can listen to the story here. It outlines that China surpassed the US in becoming the world's single largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) and "The government has set ambitious goals for reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency by 2010."
To that end, the Chinese government is focusing on its buildings, as they consume half of the electricity in China. It is well known that green roofs can aid this effort by reducing utility costs by up to 25%. Additionally, the green roofs on these buildings well help reduce fine particulate air pollution and reduce CO2 levels in the city.
These steps toward energy efficiency and pollution control are noteworthy. In addition to green roofs and green buildings, China would do well to improve the pollution controls on their factories and power plants.