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Eco-friendly Officials Will Have a Bright Future
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Chinese officials' achievements in energy saving and emission reduction will significantly influence their careers, the Beijing Times reported today.

Environmental achievements will be considered in an evaluation system for a leadership reshuffle of provincial-level authorities later this year, Ma Kai, director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday.

China paid less and emitted less sulfur dioxide into the air in generating every 10,000 yuan (US$1,323) worth of GDP in the first half of this year, "but our task is still tough," said Ma.

"We are facing the bad consequences from excessive developments since the 1980s," he said. "The quantity of major pollutants emitted by some industries has surpassed the ability of the environment to deal with it."

Ma attributed the situation partly to the lack of a scientific evaluation system for officials.

Still, in many areas, officials are focusing more on local economic development rather than environmental protection as their future careers are decided by their contribution to GDP growth, Ma said.

Meanwhile, local governments will be asked to publish information on their progress in saving energy and reducing emissions.

Officials will be responsible to answer their constituent's questions on environmental protection, Ma said.

China's top legislators yesterday began deliberating a draft law that covers recycling, energy saving and emission reduction.

The draft law stipulates that governments at all levels should control energy use and emissions, strengthen management of resource-intensive companies and divert capital into environmentally friendly industries.

It also introduces a reward and punishment system for companies, aimed at encouraging them to develop a recycling mindset and making them responsible for the recycling of their products.

The result of the reshuffle, which will cut the number of posts, will be announced in the first half of 2008, said the newspaper.

The twice-a-decade reshuffle will involve positions in legislatures, governments and political advisory bodies in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and some major cities, according to a statement from the CPC Central Committee on August 21.

(Shanghai Daily August 27, 2007)

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