Local environmentalists have appealed to the country's top
economic policymaking body to resume environmentally adjusted gross
domestic product (GDP) accounting.
Li Hengyuan, deputy secretary-general of the All-China
Environment Federation (ACEF) called on the National Development
and Reform Commission (NDRC) to lead a group of environment-related
ministries and departments in rolling out the accounting system
across the country.
Simply called Green GDP accounting, environmentally adjusted GDP
accounting is intended to demonstrate to the public and officials
the waste created and environmental damage done by the process of
It is calculated by deducting the cost of natural resources'
depletion and environmental degradation from the traditional GDP
According to the ACEF, the bodies to be included are: the State
Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the National Bureau
of Statistics (NBS), the National Forestry Administration, the
State Oceanic Administration and the Agriculture and Water
The ACEF is one of the country's most influential environmental
NGOs with a strong government background. Most of its members are
retired senior officials from environment-related positions.
Its members this week told a news conference that whether or not
Green GDP accounting was employed was a reflection of officials'
concept of environmental protection.
Other environmentalists, however, raised doubts about the ACEF's
Zhang Jianyu, a program manager in Beijing for Environmental
Defense, a US-based NGO, said: "Environmentally adjusted GDP
accounting is a controversial but potentially groundbreaking
The first Green GDP accounting report, for 2004, was published
last September. It showed that the financial loss caused by
pollution was 511.8 billion yuan (US$66.3 billion), or 3.05 percent
of the nation's economy.
(China Daily April 19, 2007)