Applaud China for Using Drones to Catch Polluters


Target: Zhou Shengxian, Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China

Goal: Applaud China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection for using drone technology to curb industrial pollution

In an effort to find out who is behind illegal emissions by large industrial companies in China’s northern provinces, the country is turning to drone surveillance. A unit of Hebei Iron & Steel Group, China’s top steelmaker, Shanxi Huaze Aluminum & Power Co., and Inner Mongolia Yihua Chemical Co. were found to have serious environmental problems, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Based on information gathered by the drones, at least 25 percent of targeted businesses may be involved in illegal practices.

Around the world, drone technology has been controversial and hotly debated, but given the severity of China’s accelerating climate change and smog issues, drastic action must be taken. Drone trail monitoring took place in the Hebei province between November and February, leading to their recent use for pollution enforcement purposes. The Ministry of Environmental Protection will follow up with on-the-ground inspections to make polluting companies change their ways.

Sign the below petition to applaud China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection for putting drone technology to good use to help curb industrial pollution. Companies that have been secretly discharging pollutants after hours will finally have no place to hide.


Dear Minister Zhou Shengxian,

Although drone technology must always be used with caution, I applaud you for putting it to use to curb industrial pollution in China. According to information gathered by drones, over a quarter of targeted industrial complexes may be illegally emitting pollution into the air. Considering China’s serious smog and air quality problems, drastic measures, like drone technology, must be taken.

As you know, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia are among the worst polluters and the focus of government efforts to clean the environment. And according to government data, seven of the 10 Chinese cities with the worst air pollution at the end of last year were located in Hebei. The industrial complexes in Hebei are also contributing to the air pollution crisis in nearby Beijing.

I am urging you to work with local industrial complexes to bring polluters to justice and impose appropriate penalties. It is also important to reward compliant companies for following environmental laws. Please use drone technology only when necessary to bring environmental perpetrators to justice and help curb illegal air pollution emissions as much as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michael Henley via Flickr

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