Premier sets goals for environment protection
Updated: 2006-04-19 09:08
Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the nation to view environment protection
from a strategic perspective while warning of a worsening ecological situation
in some regions.
Targets set for economic growth were easily met in the
country's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) but major environment protection
objectives set for the same period were not achieved, and new problems have
emerged, said Wen at a two-day national conference on environmental protection
that ended in Beijing yesterday.
It was the highest-level meeting on
environment issues and is usually held only once during a premier's five-year
Of the 20 environmental goals set for the 10th Five-Year Plan,
eight have not been achieved, the State Environmental Protection Agency said
The unfulfilled goals include reducing discharges of sulphur
dioxide, carbon dioxide and industrial solid waste, and improving wastewater
Wen blamed "lack of awareness, insufficient planning,
illogical industrial structure and a weak legal framework" for the severe
environmental problems in some places.
According to the 11th Five-Year
Plan (2006-10), energy consumption per unit of GDP will be cut by 20 per cent,
major pollutants reduced by 10 per cent and forest coverage rise to 20 per cent
from 18.2 per cent.
To fulfil the targets, the government focus should be
put on both environment protection and economic growth, and the latter should
not be at the cost of the former.
Wen set priorities for environmental
protection strengthening water conservation, controlling atmospheric and
soil pollution, enhancing ecological protection, improving the economic
structure and boosting the environmental technology and protection
He vowed that environment protection would be a factor in
assessing officials' performance.
He asked local governments to release
information on energy consumption and pollutant emissions every six months,
control emissions and step up environmental assessment of construction
Protective policies on exploitation of resources should be
implemented, and legal and supervisory systems should be established, he
An editorial published in today's People's Daily hails the
conference as a "milestone in China's environmental protection history."
Xinhua- China Daily
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