By CHUIN-WEI YAP
BEIJING -- For the first time, some Chinese companies in
industries that pose serious risks to the environment are being
required to take out insurance.
China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said recently
that its pilot insurance plan is now mandatory for mining and
smelting producers, lead-acid battery manufacturers, leather
goods producers and chemical factories.
Conducted jointly with the China Insurance Regulatory
Commission, the plan provides compensation for damage caused by
accidents from environmental pollution.
Petrochemical companies and those
involved in businesses related to hazardous waste are
"encouraged to be insured," the ministry said in a statement,
without elaborating further on the rules.
The program already covers more than 2,000 companies "that
pose serious environmental risks," and has already underwritten
some 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) worth of risk, it said.
Businesses that undertake the program will enjoy access to
special environmental protection funds and also priority in
bank loans, it said.
Dow Jones Newswires