A pollution reduction task force under the nation's top
environmental administration has urged the country to introduce
tougher pollution controls in the 12th Five-Year Plan
In the series of policy recommendations, the China Council for
International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED)
said the country should shift from trying to cut emissions of major
pollutants - sulfur dioxide (SO2) and chemical oxygen demands
(COD), to a full range of pollutant controls.
"The focus of governmental work should be transferred from
reduction capacity building to the quality of engineering projects
and reduction. In addition, market-based instruments need to be
introduced, " it said in the report.
Poor quality environmental facilities have been a common flaw in
the rush to meet the country's green goals, added the report.
Daniel Dudek, council member of CCICED and chief economist of
the US-based Environmental Defense organization, called for
"reforming the penalty system to be sure that enterprises know that
violating the law is more expensive than obeying the law".
"The debate over the revision of the Water Pollution Control Law
is focused on this issue," said Dudek, adding that the government
should ensure that financially effective penalties are in place to
ensure the law has teeth.
CCICED is an international think tank of the State Environmental
Protection Administration. It collects opinions from more than 200
senior environment and development experts and officials at home
CCICED concluded its three-day annual meeting in Beijing on
Friday, in which it made proposals to the Chinese government on
environment and development.
The task force called for a policy mechanism to ensure the
successful achievement of the 11th Five-Year Plan's environment
Besides promoting emission reductions, the proposal also spelled
out measures to further cut SO2 and COD emissions.
The report estimated that thermal power generation units
equipped with sulfur removal would account for 64 percent, leaving
little space to further cut SO2.
So it suggested taking coal-fired industrial boilers as a new
field of SO2 emission reduction. According to the study by the
CCICED task force, in 2015, SO2 emitted from boilers nationwide
will exceed 10 million tons.
As for water pollution control, the task force said greater
importance should be attached to pollution from non-industrial
It is said that in key lake basin areas, such as Taihu Lake,
Chaohu Lake, Dianchi Lake and the Three Gorges Dam area, nitrogen
and phosphor coming from industrial wastewater only accounts for
10-16 percent of pollution. Most pollutants come from household
consumption and farming.
(China Daily December 1, 2007)