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Вице-премьер Госсовета КНР позеленел

Замглавы китайского правительства Чжан Гаоли разоткровенничался по поводу экологических проблем КНР на страницах журнала 求是。



- China’s extensive mode of development is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain. In 2012, China’s economy accounted for approximately 11.5% of global economic output, yet its consumption of energy, steel, copper, and cement accounted for 21.3%, 45%, 43%, and 54% of global totals for that year respectively. In the same year, China’s dependence on imported oil and iron ore reached 56.4% and 66.5% respectively, while its total emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides ranked first in the world. Therefore, we must engage in more conscientious efforts to promote green, circular, and low-carbon development, accelerate the transformation of our means of development, and shift away from growth modes that involve heavy resource consumption and serious environmental pollution, so as to pave a sustainable development path that is characterized by minimal development costs, low emissions, and high efficiency.

- Blue waters and green hills cannot be replaced by mountains of gold and silver.

- The Communist Party of China has always attached a high level of priority to environmental protection and ecological conservation. The Party’s first generation of central leadership, with Mao Zedong at its core, introduced a set of basic principles with regard to environmental protection. These were: “Overall planning and rational distribution; utilizing resources comprehensively and turning hazards into benefits; relying on the masses and involving everybody; and protecting environments for the benefit of the people”... From one generation to the next, China’s theories on promoting ecological progress have grown and evolved amidst a constant process of exploration, eventually becoming an important part of the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

- These efforts have led to notable results. Over the past 5 years, the government has spent a combined total of more than 1.14 trillion yuan on energy conservation and environmental protection initiatives nationwide. In 2012, China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP was 17.2% lower than it had been five years earlier, while the country’s chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulfur dioxide emissions had dropped by 15.7% and 17.5% respectively; the amount of water consumed per 10,000 yuan of industrial value added was less than half of what it had been 10 years before; the treatment rate of wastewater in cities reached 87.3%; the proportion of coal-fired electricity produced in power plants equipped with desulfurization facilities exceeded 90%.

-  The main problems that China faces in promoting ecological progress at present include the following. First, energy and resource constraints are continuing to increase. Shortages of land and water resources in relation to our population are becoming increasingly evident, and the task of guaranteeing the secure supply of energy and important minerals is becoming increasingly challenging. Second, environmental pollution is a serious problem. A significant proportion of our cities are failing to meet new air quality standards. The pollution of river systems and groundwater throughout the country and the safety of drinking water are issues that we cannot ignore. At the same time, heavy metal pollution and soil pollution are serious problems in some regions. Third, the degradation of ecosystems is a major issue. The rate of forest coverage in China is by no means high. Soil erosion, desertification, and the decline of grasslands are taking place over large areas. Natural wetlands are diminishing, ecosystems in rivers and lakes are declining, and biodiversity continues to decrease. Fourth, there are irrationalities in the spatial layout of our development. Speaking in overall terms, too much space has been devoted to production, leaving too little space for ecological and domestic purposes. In some areas, rash, excessive, and disorderly development has neared or even surpassed the maximum carrying capacity of resources and the environment. Fifth, we are being presented with new challenges in our efforts to respond to climate change. As a large emitter of greenhouse gasses, China is facing an arduous task in emissions reduction. Sixth, the social effects of environmental issues have become prominent. The unlawful discharge of pollutants by some companies has polluted environments and provoked strong reactions from communities and members of the public.

- China’s laws, policies, and performance appraisal systems have been unable to meet demands for the promotion of ecological progress... We need to further strengthen laws and regulations with a view to promoting ecological progress. By accelerating our efforts to establish new laws, amend existing laws, and abolish outdated laws, we must work as quickly as possible to fine-tune a legal system that pertains to the protection and administration of ecological environments, land, mineral resources, forests, and grasslands. We must single out and amend any existing law that does not fully accord to requirements for promoting ecological progress, and formulate new laws and regulations pertaining to the protection of biodiversity, the prevention and control of soil pollution, and also nuclear safety. At the same time, efforts also need to be made to reform administrative systems for the protection of ecological environments. We need to establish and develop an administrative system for environmental protection whereby all discharges of pollutants are strictly monitored. We also need to ensure that environmental monitoring and administrative law enforcement are carried out on an independent basis, so as to enhance the authority that is associated with law enforcement initiatives.

- In addition, we should step up our monitoring efforts, administer rewards and punishments in strict accordance with regulations, and ensure that all systems become binding. Leading cadres should be subject to natural resource asset audits before they leave office. Also, a lifelong accountability system for ecological damage should be put in place.

- We need to make effective use of public oversight. Public oversight represents the most direct and effective means of monitoring ecological environments. To better ensure that the public can enjoy the right to stay informed about and monitor environmental issues, we need to take the initiative in promptly making environmental information public and raising transparency. At the same time, we also need to actively give play to the role of the news media and non-government organizations, so as to consciously subject ourselves to media and social oversight.

- We need to actively advocate green lifestyles. In order to promote ecological progress, it is essential that we put an end to irrational modes of consumption. Capitalizing on the opportunity provided by the introduction of the “eight-point code of conduct” of the CPC Central Committee, we must staunchly oppose hedonism and extravagance, urge the public to consume rationally, encourage the purchase and use of green, low-carbon, environmentally friendly, and recyclable products, and launch penetrating schemes to oppose the waste of food. Through these efforts, we will work to foster a stronger social consensus around the idea that living economically is a virtue while being wasteful is shameful.
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