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Deputies make green proposals
By Xiao Yu (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-16 08:00

Members of this year's annual National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) sessions made more green proposals and gave environmental problems a higher profile than in previous years.

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Zhao Linzhong, an NPC deputy and chairman of the Furun Group, proposed establishing some kind of environmental police agency to enforce regulations at a local level, with authority to punish those breaking such laws.

The country has created and revised many green regulations in recent years but they often are ignored or altered on local scale projects, said Zhao.

"Local environmental protection bureaus currently don't have enough authority, which inhibits crack-downs and punishment," he added.

Some developing countries have already set up environmental police agencies, China can learn from them, he said.

Chen Enfu, an NPC member and professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, proposed using electronic books instead of paper books.

"It is convenient way of reading and would reduce paper imports and save cutting trees," he added.

He said the education department, and other relevant agencies, should establish administrative policies to encouraging electronic book use in schools and libraries.

Zhang Yin, a CPCC member and chairwoman of Nine Dragons Paper (Holding) Ltd, proposed increasing ecological protection and resource recycling.

"This year's sessions are focused on economic development but environmental problems can't be neglected," said Zhang.

Zhang's company uses waste paper to make its packing paper and she was recently named one of the world's 100 green millionaires by the UK's Sunday Times.

Chen Fei, a farmer NPC deputy from Yongjia county, Zhejiang province distributed reusable shopping bags and hankerchiefs to other deputies, which he also did at last year's sessions.

The country's ban of free plastic bags has not worked so well yet and the 3,200 basket he gave as gifts this year might give the issue more publicity, he said.

He has promoted ecological conservation for the last eight years and has invested over 30,000 yuan turning his hometown, Zhu'an, into China's first plastic bag-free village.

There were several other small green efforts at the annual sessions. Lights were turned off in unused rooms, deputies from Anhui used environmental pencils made from recycled newspaper and many NPC and CPPCC members opted for porcelain cups rather than bottled water.

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