All About the Environment

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I posted the other day about the environmental business in China (“A Good Environment – for Business”). Now a detailed report on environmental protection over the past 10 years has been issued by the State Council Information Office (and is reported at length in the People’s Daily). The report includes 10 chapters:

    I. Environmental Protection Legislation and System
    II. Prevention and Control of Industrial Pollution
    III. Pollution Control in Key Regions
    IV. Protection of the Urban Environment
    V. Protection of the Rural Environment
    VI. Ecological Protection and Construction
    VII. Economic Policy and Investment Concerning the Environment
    VIII. Environmental Impact Assessment
    IX. Environmental Science and Technology, Industry and Public Participation
    X. International Cooperation in Environmental Protection

A few interesting notes, quoted from the report, include:

    • “For three years in a row, the State has launched special environmental protection campaigns to rectify enterprises that have discharged pollutants in violation of the law and to protect people’s health. It has dealt with over 75,000 environmental law violation cases, and had 16,000 enterprises closed down for having discharged pollutants in violation of the law. More than 10,000 warnings have been issued to environment polluters, obliging them to remedy the problems under government supervision.”

    • “There are now 3,226 environmental protection administration departments at different levels all over China, with 167,000 people engaging in environmental administration, monitoring, scientific research, publicity and education. There are 3,854 environmental supervision and environmental law enforcement organs with more than 50,000 staff members.”

    • “The amount of industrial waste water, oxygen for industrial chemicals, industrial sulfur dioxide, industrial smoke and industrial dust discharged in generating one unit of GDP in China in 2004 dropped by 58 percent, 72 percent, 42 percent, 55 percent and 39 percent, respectively, from 1995. Energy consumption per 10,000 yuan-worth of GDP in 2004 declined by 45 percent from 1990, saving 700 million tons of standard coal in total. The coal consumption for generating thermal power, the comparable energy consumption for each ton of steel and the comprehensive energy consumption for cement declined by 11.2 percent, 29.6 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively.”

    • “During the Ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), the State closed down 84,000 small enterprises that had caused both serious waste and pollution.”

In relation to future plans the report notes that:

    ”In the 11th Five-Year Program for Economic and Social Development (2006-2010), China has clearly set forth its main goals for environmental protection for the next five years: By 2010, while the national economy will maintain a relatively stable and fast growth, the environmental quality of key regions and cities will be improved, and the trend toward ecological deterioration will be brought under control. Energy consumption per unit of GDP will decline by 20 percent compared with the end of the Tenth Five-Year Plan period. The total amount of major pollutants discharged will be reduced by ten percent, and forest coverage will be raised from 18.2 percent to 20 percent.”

Obviously this is a government report, and one would not expect it to look at the issues in an overly critical way. However, it is another sign of the importance the government is placing on environmental protection – an issue which will be critical to China’s (and the world’s) future prosperity and wellbeing, and which is reported to be costing the country of all this pollution a whopping US$200 billion a year, or around 10 percent of GDP.

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One Response to “All About the Environment”

  1. Archive » Where Is All The Water?| China Business Blog Says:

    […] Behind the headlines about China’s phenomenal industrialization and economic growth lie some worrying environmental issues. At the top of the list for 1.3 billion thirsty consumers is […]

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