China is aiming to cut its air and water pollution by at least 5
percent in 2008 comparing with 2005 figures to ensure a green
Olympics, said Zhou Shengxian, head of the country's environmental
Zhou said Tuesday on a work conference of the State
Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) that the country
plans to cut its sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD),
two major pollutants emissions in China, by 6 and 5 percent
respectively in 2008 from 2005 levels.
The plan means the country will cut up to 2.3 million tons of
sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and 1.3 million tons of chemical
oxygen demand (COD) this year.
By 2010, the plan is to reduce both levels by 10 percent based
on 2005 levels.
"Industrial restructuring will play a fundamental role in
curbing pollution," China Daily quoted Zhou.
Use of sulfur scrubbers to clean emissions will be emphasized to
curb air pollution, according to the plan.
New thermal power generation units with a combined capacity of
30 gigawatts will be installed with sulfur removal capabilities,
which is expected to reduce SO2 emissions by 1.5 million tons.
Zhou also revealed that more high energy consuming and high
polluting power plants will be shut down this year.
The shut-down plan includes a number of small thermal power
plants with a combined output of 13 gigawatts, steel plants with a
total capacity of 6 million tons, cement plants with a combined
output of 50 million tons, iron production facilities with a total
capacity of 14 million tons, and papermaking factories producing a
combined 1 million tons.
"If achieved by the end of this year, the plan will help China
reduce its emissions of SO2 by 600,000 tons and cut the COD by
400,000 tons," Zhou said.
Key eco-friendly projects will also be implemented, Zhou
The country's urban wastewater treatment capacity is to be
increased by 12 million tons a day, which will cut COD by 600,000
In addition, industries will be required to strengthen their
wastewater treatment capacities and will be expected to decrease
COD by 200,000 tons a year.
Measures taken by the central government and environmental
agencies last year also saw progress being made in the green
The density of COD in water resources was 6.5 milligram per
liter, down 7 percent on 2006.
A reduction in SO2 emissions also saw the area of land affected
by acid rain shrink by 100,000 square kilometers.
The number of blue-sky days with good air quality was also up on
the previous year.
However, China's fight against pollution is far from over, Zhou
The country ranked first in sulfur dioxide emission in the world
SEPA figures also showed that last year, the quality of more
than 26 percent of water runoff was worse than grade V -- a level
unfit for human contact.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2008)