China announced it would penalize cities that fail to meet national air quality standards, the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said Monday. The environmental agency said it would also control construction projects that could worsen air pollution in the polluting cities and warn investors against polluting cities. China's economic growth has taken a toll on its environment, making it the world's second-largest producer of greenhouse gases thanks to car exhaust, factory emissions and coal-burning heating plants lit during the winter. China's emissions of sulphur dioxide were the highest in the world last year, causing acid rain across 30% of China, Xinhua said.
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