China yesterday set up a top team headed by Premier Wen Jiabao in a major effort to fulfil its energy conservation and pollution cutting task.
The establishment of the special team was announced at an executive meeting of the State Council yesterday.
Wen said the move is aimed at achieving the target of cutting energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent and pollution emissions by 10 percent by 2010 from the 2005 level.
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan is the deputy director of the team.
Also yesterday, the country's top environmental watchdog released the Regulation on Open Environmental Information for Trial Implementation in Beijing, which will be put into effect on May 1, 2008.
The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said the trial regulation is the first comprehensive one for environmental departments at all levels to stress the need for open information from both the environmental watchdogs, and from polluting plants.
Pan Yue, deputy minister of SEPA, said the regulation provides a platform for the public to participate in the country's move to save energy and cut pollution.
The regulation is easy to adhere to, Pan said.
It calls for the government to open 17 categories of environmental information, such as laws, standards, and administrative approvals.
The regulation also prohibits industries from refusing to release pollution information on the excuse of commercial secrets.
The regulation also imposes a time limitation. It requires provisional governments to publish updated information within 20 days and respond to public demands for information within 15 days.
Polluting plants must make available its data to the public with 30 days after being blacklisted by the environmental monitor.
The opinions of governmental organs or plants on the trial regulation will be punished.
Pan said the fact that China has failed to hit its target of energy saving and pollution reduction, showed it needed adjustment.
(China Daily April 26, 2007)