CHINA / National

US$175 bln earmarked for environmental protection
Updated: 2006-07-17 22:42

China plans to invest 1.4 trillion yuan (US$175 billion) in environmental protection between 2006 and 2010 - more than 1.5 percent of the national GDP, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The money will be spent on water pollution control, improving the air quality in cities, disposing solid waste, harnessing soil erosion and improving the rural environment, said He Bingguang, deputy head of the NDRC's environment department.

At a cost of 180 billion yuan, sewage treatment facilities with a combined daily capacity of 40 million tons will be built in 10 river valleys to dispose of waste water discharged by cities, said He. And a total of 200 billion yuan will be used to treat industrial waste water, according to the official.

Part of the funds will be used to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide and dust in 113 major Chinese cities.

China will also set up 31 provincial-level dangerous waste disposing centers to treat domestic garbage.

According to the plan, the investment will also serve to build facilities to guarantee nuclear safety and prevent nuclear radiation, He said.

Official estimates show that the annual output value of China's environmental protection industry will top 880 billion yuan by the end of 2010, with an annual growth rate of 15 percent.