Related News

Home » Metro

Green issues a priority

CHINA will adopt stricter measures, especially in major cities like Shanghai, to protect the environment and foster sustainable economic development, top officials told an Expo forum yesterday in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province.

The measures include banning new coal-fired power plants in big cities, mandating desulfurizing equipment in power facilities, protecting drinking water source regions and restricting air polluting industries in cities, speakers told the fourth Shanghai World Expo theme forum.

The forum, "Towards A Low-Carbon City: Environmental Protection and Urban Responsibilities," closes today.

"Half of the world's people now live in cities, so environmental issues are a challenge," said Yu Zhengsheng, secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's Shanghai committee. "We have to find the right ways to both push economic development in a sustainable way and improve people's living conditions."

Environmental problems, including air and water pollution and climate change, have become severe in China over the past 20 to 30 years, said Zhou Shengxian, minister of environmental protection.

Comparatively, the same process has been happening in the West for more than 100 years, he said, adding China will strengthen protection in related regions to improve drinking water quality.

The source regions cover China's biggest three rivers and three lakes, including the Yangtze River and Yellow River, as well as Songhuajiang region in the northeast, Zhou said.

Urban areas

Also, new coal-fired power plants won't be allowed to set up in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Existing plants will be gradually moved out from urban areas to other regions.

For example, the relocation of four such power plants in Beijing is expected to improve air quality, said Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission and director of the National Energy Administration.

China will also require power plants to install desulfurization equipment to cut sulphur dioxide emissions, which pollute the air and cause acid rain. More than 71 percent of these plants had installed such equipment by the end of 2009, reducing China's sulphur dioxide emissions by 13.4 percent in the period between 2005 and 2009.

All these measures will enable China to keep last year's promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 45 percent per unit of GDP by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Policy makers also will strictly monitor the number of new projects with high energy consumption and industries with high emissions, ranging from coal-fired power generation to petrochemical sectors.

China also will develop and support clean energy industries and projects to save energy, like smart grids, green lighting and environmentally-friendly houses, forum panelists said.

Foreign speakers appreciated the measures and shared their visions during the forum with more than 700 attendees.

World economies, including China, should pursue development in a sustainable way and care more about environment protection, according to Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General of the UN.

"Economic development will never reverse or stop with environmental protection," Steiner said.

In 2008, investment in clean energy reached US$172 million globally, proving the sector's large market potential, according to the United Nations.

Speakers praised Shanghai World Expo for showcasing green economy initiatives, especially in the Urban Best Practices Area.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend