Inadequate pollution control facilities, rapid urbanization and rising energy
consumption have been blamed for an alarming rise in China's key pollution
indices in the first half year despite the government's environmental targets
and control efforts.
The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) indices both
increased during the first six months compared with last year, said an official
report released on Tuesday.
From January to June, the COD, used to estimate the amount of organic matter
in waste water, rose 3.7 percent over the same period of 2005, totaling 6.9
Discharges of SO2 reached 12.75 million tons, up 4.2 percent, said the
The increase was caused by rising consumption of energy, speeding
urbanization and increasing discharge of waste water, according to the report.
The low use rate of desulfurizing facilities in new thermal power generators,
inadequate or lack of pollution control facilities in industrial projects, and
the delayed operation of sewage treatment plants in some cities were also blamed
for the results.
Only half of the new thermal power plants put into use in the first half,
totaling 32 million kilowatts, were equipped with desulfurizing facilities.
About 40 percent of the total COD discharge was from the industries such as
paper-making, chemicals and textiles, which were still growing rapidly, the
"The task of reducing discharges of key pollutants is very arduous," said the
report, noting that local governments and central departments must raise the
awareness of the responsibility and urgency of environmental protection.
The report was released by the State Environmental Protection Administration,
the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Development and Reform
China has set a goal in its 11th five-year plan, which aims for energy
consumption per unit of domestic gross product (GDP) to drop by 20 percent while
the discharges of SO2 and COD drop by 10 percent by 2010.
However, major indices show the environment is still deteriorating due to
negligence of local officials who target only fast economic growth, drawing
criticism from lawmakers.
The world's biggest SO2 polluter, China discharged 25.49 million tons of SO2
last year, 27 percent more than in 2000.
The rising discharges of SO2 have resulted in one third of China suffering
from acid rain, according to a report released by the country's