China / Economic Blueprint

Xi vows reform to make environment watchdog more independent

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-04 11:51

BEIJING - China will reform the current environmental protection management system, in an attempt to make the watchdog more independent, President Xi Jinping said in a statement on Tuesday.

An absence of supervision over local governments and intervention in the environmental watchdog's duties are common problems, according to the statement which explains the Proposal on Formulating the Thirteenth Five-year Plan (2016-2020).

Provincial-level environmental departments will be put directly in charge of the city level and allocating the budget, Xi said.

County-level environmental bureaus will be abolished and in their place will be supervision agencies, he added.

"The move will ensure effective law enforcement by local environment watchdogs," said the President.

The reform will be tested first and then extended across the country, Xi said, adding the authority will strive to complete the task within the next five years.

Xi also called for measures to limit total consumption of energy and water and construction land, and their consumption per unit of GDP.

Such restrictive measures will help transform the economic growth pattern, reduce carbon emissions and conserve resources, he said.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's "Proposal on Formulating the Thirteenth Five-year Plan (2016-2020) on National Economic and Social Development," was adopted at the Fifth Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which ended Oct 29.

China is committed to embracing a "green" development model in the next five years, featuring a more exacting environmental protection system to reduce carbon emissions.

The proposals vowed China will wage an "energy revolution", accelerating the exploration of clean, safe resources to replace the use of coal and other fossil fuels.

The development of wind, solar, biomass, water, geothermal and nuclear energy, as well as the exploitation of natural, shale and coal bed gases will all continue.

Measures will be taken to control carbon emissions in the energy-intensive industries of power, steel, chemical and architectural material, the document said.

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