MAC/20: Mines and Communities

China Vows Action on Pollution after Missing Target

Published by MAC on 2007-02-13

China Vows Action on Pollution after Missing Target

PlanetArk CHINA

13th February 2007

BEIJING - China said on Monday that it would step up its efforts to curb emissions of pollutants by temporarily suspending the approval of some investment projects, after falling short of its goal for 2006.

The State Environmental Protection Administration said on its Web site (www.sepa.gov.cn) that the country had missed its target of reducing overall emissions by 2 percent in 2006, without giving detailed figures.

However, the agency said that emissions of acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide had amounted to 25.9 million tonnes in 2006. That was 1.8 percent more than in 2005, when such pollution grew by 13.1 percent.

The agency said that starting this year, it would publish biannual figures on emissions in each province to give poor performers more pressure from the public to clean up their act.

China has set a goal of reducing emissions of pollutants by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010.

To that end, the government would halt approvals of highly polluting investment projects in those provinces that had failed to curb their emissions in line with the targets set for them by Beijing, the agency said.

The agency also said that by the end of this year, China would close paper factories with capacity of less than 34,000 tonnes per year and increase electricity and water prices for highly polluting and energy-intensive industries.

China last year also missed its goal of making a 4 percent cut in the amount of energy it uses to generate each dollar of national income.

Sources told Reuters last week that China only achieved a 1.0-1.5 percent reduction in that measure of "energy intensity" last year.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

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