CHINA / National

Circular economy law to improve efficiency
By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-27 09:03

A circular economy law to improve efficiency in the use of resources is expected to come into force in 2008, a member of the country's top environment protection body said on Friday.

Speaking from the sidelines of a forum on China's circular economic development, Qian Yi, deputy director of the Environment and Resources Protection Committee under National People's Congress (NPC), said they are co-operating with the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Environment Protection Administration (SEPA) to enact such a law.

The initial draft is expected to come out around the end of the first quarter of the next year and will be submitted to the NPC standing committee for supervision, she said.

The law will mandate a clean development mode to produce the maximum amount of products with the minimum resources, she said.

"The country's goal of increasing energy efficiency will definitely get a shot in the arm if we enhance it to the height of a national law," Qian said.

China currently consumes about 11 times the energy in producing US$1 worth of gross domestic product (GDP) as Japan, and five times that of the United States, she said.

Sun Youhai, who heads the legislative office of the environment protection committee, said the law would include systems to evaluate the environmental friendliness of products before they enter the market, to supervise resource property, to require the proper disposal of waste, and to establish an accountability system for manufacturers.

China has mapped out a plan to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent and main pollutants by 10 per cent while still maintaining an average of 7.5 per cent in GDP growth.

"It's an ambitious plan, and a difficult one," Qian said.

But she remained upbeat.

"We could achieve it by upgrading the technology and standard of energy-guzzling industries, such as steel production," said Qian.

Jiang Yaoping, deputy minister of the information industry, said China's information industry faces mounting pressure for more recycling and disposal of obsolete and ageing electrical appliances.

China produced 300 million mobile phones last year, half of which are for sale domestically. It is estimated that 60 million will be sold to new subscribers, and the rest to people replacing old phones, he said.

"We can achieve sustainable development only by improving quality and working out new ways to recycle old phones," said Jiang.

Also on Friday, Zhou Shengxian, head of SEPA, vowed to stick to efficiency, transparency and fairness in SEPA's future environmental evaluation work.

(China Daily 05/27/2006 page2)