BEIJING China will encourage investment in
pollution control projects to help the country meet its
environmental goals, according to an environmental policy
blueprint provisionally approved on Wednesday.
The State Council approved in principle an environmental
plan for the five years through 2010, urging industrial
restructuring to conserve resources and requiring companies to
adhere to environmental standards to help reduce the damage to
its water supplies, coast and air.
"A mechanism should be established to encourage government,
enterprises and non-government forces to invest in pollution
control projects," said the announcement that led the evening
radio and television news on Wednesday.
It also called for an end to the bureaucratic fighting that
has allowed many polluters to simply ignore the rules that are
on the books.
"The most important job is to prevent pollution," the
"Governments and ministries should better coordinate to
deal with pollution problems that cross administrative and
regional boundaries. And companies should adhere to existing
laws when expanding or building new plants, while addressing
outstanding pollution as quickly as possible."
The five-year plan includes "specific measures" to reach
previously announced targets to reduce energy consumption per
unit of economic output by 20 percent and major pollutant
discharges by 10 percent by 2010.
The State Environmental Protection Administration is
gradually gaining clout as Beijing becomes more aware of the
social, health and economic cost of unchecked pollution.
But local governments' eagerness to support projects that
bring taxes and jobs, added to authorities' inability to
enforce laws outside their own jurisdiction, has allowed highly
polluting projects to continue unabated.