China Completes Phase Goals Of Battle For Pollution Prevention And Control

China Completes Phase Goals Of Battle For Pollution Prevention And Control

China has overfulfilled the nine eco-environmental binding indicators outlined in its 13th Five-Year Plan and the phased goals of the battle for pollution prevention and control, Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu told a press conference on Aug.

18.

Across-the-board improvements have been achieved in China’s eco-environment, the minister added.
Chinese cities at and above the prefecture level enjoyed good air quality on 87 percent of days in 2020, 5.8 percentage points higher than that in 2015, and 2.5 percentage points higher than the target set in the 13th Five-Year Plan.

In these cities, the average concentration of PM2.5 dropped to 37 micrograms per cubic meter, down by 28.8 percent from 2015, and surpassing the goal in the 13th Five-Year Plan by 10.8 percentage points.

The proportion of surface water with fairly good quality increased from 66 percent in 2015 to 83.4 percent in 2020, exceeding the target set in the 13th Five-Year Plan by 13.4 percentage points, while the proportion of surface water below Grade V, the lowest level, decreased from 9.7 percent in 2015 to 0.6 percent in 2020, 4.4 percentage points lower than what’s required in the 13th Five-Year Plan.

Over 90 percent of the polluted farmland can be utilized safely and over 90 percent of the contaminated land is able to be used safely as required by the 13th Five-Year Plan.

In 2020, 23.04 percent of China’s territory was covered by forests, and national nature reserves and natural protected areas with various functions and types accounted for 18 percent of the country’s land mass.

On top of that, carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP reduced by 18.8 percent compared with that in 2015, achieving the 13th Five-Year Plan goal.

Huang said 89.5 percent of Chinese citizens were satisfied with China’s eco-environment in 2020, up 10.7 percentage points compared with that in 2017, according to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics. It indicated strong public recognition of the phased achievements of the battle for pollution prevention and control, he added.

China’s eco-environment kept getting better in the first half of 2021. The average concentration of PM2.5 went down by 2.9 percent from a year ago, and the proportion of excellent surface water was up 1.1 percentage points year on year.

China started barring all solid waste imports at the end of 2020 as scheduled, and won broad admiration both at home and abroad, said Huang, adding that the time when China was like a dumping site for developed countries has gone forever.

According to him, China’s imports of solid waste dropped from 42.27 million metric tons in 2017 to 8.79 million metric tons last year, and were completely banned starting from the very first day of 2021.

The country launched a special law enforcement campaign to fight illegal imports of solid waste. From 2017 to 2020, it made over 2,300 inspections into relevant enterprises and ordered more than 1,100 punishments. Besides, to overhaul the waste plastic processing and other relevant industries, the country has straightened out 194 distribution centers and shut down over 8,800 small, poorly-managed, and heavily-polluting enterprises.

While banning the imports of foreign waste, the Chinese government has been working to improve the country’s recycling system of solid waste. It supported domestic enterprises of solid waste recycling and reutilization, and accelerated garbage sorting in both rural and urban areas, so as to constantly improve the recycling rate of renewable resources.

The government also made national quality standards on raw materials of regenerated steel, iron and copper, and guided enterprises to import qualified and high-spec renewable feedstock.

Last year, China recycled 370 million metric tons of renewable resources, 110 million metric tons more than the 2016 level, or a rise of 42 percent. Recycling efforts are injecting new impetus into the country’s economic and social development.


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