China fails to meet its 2006 pollution control objectives

Published: Thursday 15 March 2007

China has admitted failure in meeting any of its pollution control objectives for 2006. This candid admission comes from the State Environmental Protection Agency (sepa) in Beijing.

On February 12, sepa said China emitted more greenhouse gases (ghgs) in 2006: sulphur dioxide emissions rose by nearly 463,000 tonnes (1.8 per cent). The chemical oxygen demand, a water pollution index, also rose by 1.2 per cent, which the country had planned to cut by 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, China's gross domestic product has grown to 10.7 per cent. "Economic growth is still excessive and there is slow progress in restructuring the obsolete and backward production capacity," said Zhou Shengxian, director, sepa. Shengxian said environmental laws were weak and ineffectively enforced in the country.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, which means it emits more sulphur dioxide, which is produced when coal burns. This contributes in making China the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

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