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Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the comments Wednesday at the closing meeting of the second conference of the 12th CPPCC National Committee.
"A sound eco-environment is the highest bliss for people's livelihoods... Their demands for clean water, fresh air and untainted food are stronger than ever, and the protection and construction of an eco-environment cannot wait," Yu said.
The advisor called for a state-level plan to guide the overall eco-protection campaign, with regional and industrial projects being complimentary to the overarching plan.
According to Yu, specific goals and deadlines should be set to address problems, and measures should be drafted to ensure the goals are reached within the required time.
Yu stressed government supervision, legislation and reinforced law enforcement as long-term guarantees for the progress of the ecology drive.
At the conference, Yu attended panel discussions and a plenary meeting, during which senior political advisors brainstormed on promoting the country's ecological civilization.
The speakers called for strengthening Chinese people's sense of ecology, optimizing land development, promoting a market-oriented mechanism for carbon emission reduction and the sustainable development of hydro-electricity.
"China's current eco-environment is still in a grave situation, and we should fully anticipate the urgency and hardships of environmental protection and pollution prevention and control," said a statement released after the conference.
According to the statement, attendees contributed ideas including implementation of major ecology rehabilitation projects, more eco-friendly products as well as greater support for low-carbon industries and renewable energy.
A series of personnel appointments were also announced at Wednesday's meeting.