The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the State Environmental Protection Administration are collaborating to draft a green GDP index. Relevant departments are pondering the feasibility to tie the green GDP factor with local officials' administration efficiency assessment, according to some relevant senior officials, who declined to be named.
An official with the State Development and Reform Commission revealed that the NBS has already deployed reform package measures for local GDP calculation systems since the year 2004. Theoretically, China's GDP figure used to just include economic growth and neglects the Green GDP factors concerning ecology, nature and environmental protection. As society advances, the calculation system is now challenged. It is time to adjust and catch up with society's demands. It is reported that the NBS will set up a team for researching how to integrate the Green GDP factors.
Statistics officials said that it is so complicated that the bureau is not prepared to either theoretically or practically evaluate the value of original resources such as water, natural resources and even the air as a whole. So the bureau will probably start from assessing real asset value.
Hu Angang, director of the Center for China Study under Tsinghua University, believes that China's eventual way-out lies in an upgrade from the ongoing "black development" to the environment-friendly "green development" as soon as possible. So far, China is addicted to a practice of "development first, remedy later," which stirs economic growth at the cost of high consumption of natural resources. The ecological environment will keep deteriorating and social development continuing to be imbalanced if China continues down this road.
Reforming the current national economy calculation system and deducting environmental resource costs and the service fees for environmental protection could get a "real" Green GDP indicating the net positive growth of the national economy. The higher ratio of a Green GDP shows higher positive economic growth and lower negative effects.
(China.org.cn by Alex February 12, 2004)