Published: Monday 15 January 2001

China will invest us $24 billion in environmental protection efforts in the next five years. Five of the world's 10 most polluted cities are located in China, and acid rainfall has been observed in several regions. Environmental degradation can be attributed to 20 years of extensive economic development. "The government will fund 1,200 key environment projects, starting from 2001 to 2005," said Xie Zhenhua, director of the state environment protection administration. He said that the environmental plans included reducing emissions, improving environment quality and curbing ecological deterioration. China has already spent around us $418 million on ecofriendly projects during the last five years, which accounts for 0.93 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

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