(2017-03-10)Environmental protection is one of the top issues surrounding China political sessions. Chen Jining, head of the country’s environmental protection body has introduced measures for the coming year.
Air pollution in China is a huge public concern. Three years after the implementation of the Action Plan on Air, the country reduced 47 percent of the total capacity for coal power. However, as Chen put it, that alone is not enough.
"In the past three years, the air quality in WINTER is not satisfying in regions around Beijing. That will be the focus of our work in the future. First will be coal consumption, and then motor vehicles," Chen said.
In a bid to reduce coal consumption, China is cutting over-capacity in its steel production. However, this comes at a costly price of hurting the economy.
The issue of air pollution remains complicated, as the country wishes to keep its engines of economy running while maintaining clean air. Beijing has seen continuous blue skies during the Two Sessions, but how long will this last?
"There are complex economic and social activities behind pollution, and it involves the structure of the industrial and energy sector. It may take a long time to solve the problem," Chen said.
China is calling for more public participation, including introducing more measures to ensure the public’s right and participation in the Environmental Evaluation Reports.
"The environmental evaluation reports and public participation reports should be equally important. We will support more information disclosure that puts the government and enterprises under the spotlight," Chen said.
A series of laws and regulations are expected to be drawn up in the coming year, including ones on the prevention and control of water and soil pollution.