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China sets long-term timetable to guide pollution fight

04-22-2011 10:11 BJT

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese academics and experts have laid out a three-stage goal to curb pollution in the next 40 years as China's Environmental Protection Minister warned of huge pressures and a "long and winding" road ahead.

According to the goal, the first stage will achieve control over the emission of major pollutants and ensure the nation' s environmental safety by 2020. By the end of 2030, the emissions volume of all pollutants will be "under full control" and improvements will have been made in overall environmental quality.

In the final stage, environmental quality "should be compatible with people's increasing quality of living for a country that is a socialist modern power" by the end of 2050.

The goal was made public on Thursday at a media conference as part of a strategic research project that took more than 50 academicians and hundreds of experts three years to develop.

The research report said that currently the country is in a "grave" situation, noting that "the environment has been partly improved but remains uncontrolled as a whole, and pressures keep increasing."

Though admitting the road ahead is "long and winding," Zhou Shengxian, Minister of Environmental Protection, commented on Thursday at the conference that the goal was a "practical and lucid judgment."

"China's environmental pressure is bigger than any other country's, and our problem in environmental resources is more outstanding than any other country's. All these issues pose more difficulties for us to solve," Zhou said.

According to him, the remarkable fruit of this strategic research is that it points out a new sustainable approach for China to protect the environment, featuring low costs, high efficiency and low emissions.

Zhou Ji, head of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the country must utilize limited natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner through improving production and other technologies.

Previously, the Chinese government set its 2011 target to reduce emissions from four major pollutants, cutting them by 1.5 percent annually.

These main pollutants are sulfur dioxide, ammonia nitrogen, and nitrogen oxide. Ammonia nitrogen and nitrogen oxide were newly added to the country's major pollutants monitoring list in accordance with its environmental protection plan for the period from 2011 to 2015.

According to Zhou, the government will also make and improve policies for emission reductions, such as favorable prices for electricity used during industrial pollutant disposal and higher fees for urban sewage emissions.

"The morning light is just ahead. Stick to our goal and the glory will finally come," Zhou said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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