A new environmental research project, aimed at providing policy-makers with
guidelines for environmentally friendly development, was launched on Friday in
The two-year project is a collaboration between the State Environmental
Protection Administration (SEPA) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
The completed guidelines will comprise of four parts an introduction to the
project's work followed by in-depth advice on protecting the ecosystem, dealing
with man-made pollution and providing incentives for green policy-making.
The basis for the project will be research into how to protect China's
ecosystem, with studies into preventing water, air, noise, waste, oceanic and
radioactive pollution, according to Xu Kuangdi, vice-chairman of the 10th
National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Sections on dealing with man-made pollution will confront hot issues such as
industrial pollution, cleaning up urban environments and protecting public
Research into the causes of industrial pollution will focus on heavily
polluting industries such as petroleum, chemicals, iron and steel, power
generation and papermaking.
While work on rural environmental protection will look at water security,
pesticide and fertilizer use, and developing biomass energy.
"Currently, the quality of research into pollution in China is not very
high," said Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan.
He urged the research group to look for ways economic growth and
environmental protection could go hand in hand.
Zeng said that besides traditional environmental problems like air and water
pollution or desertification, China is increasingly facing new issues, such as
persistent organic pollution, heavy metal pollution, radiation and electronic
According to Zeng, about 70 percent of China's water is now polluted.
Improving the quality of water held behind the Three Gorges Dam has been newly
listed as a key pollution project.
Last year, China failed to reach its pollution and energy consumption
reduction targets, which aim to see major pollutants cut by 10 percent and
energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) fall by 20 percent
between 2006 and 2010.
Sulfur dioxide emissions increased by nearly 463,000 tons, 1.8 percent higher
than the previous year. Chemical oxygen demand, a water pollution index, reached
14.31 million tons, 173,000 tons more than the year before and 1.2 percent
higher than in 2005, according to SEPA data. Mass accidents caused by
environmental problems have increased by 30 percent annually.
Energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 1.23 percent year-on-year in 2006,
the first annual decline since 2003, figures from the National Bureau of
This year, the country has launched a series of programs designed to meet the
environmental targets, such as the national pollution source investigation and a
drive to close down small-scale power plants.
(China Daily 05/12/2007 page2)