China doubles down on pollution fight with in-depth efforts
The landscape of a scenic spot is pictured in Hezhang County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Sept. 3, 2021. [Xinhua/Yang Wenbin]
BEIJING -- China has once again confirmed its consistency in furthering environmental protection efforts, and has shown the determination to take on the hardest issues in combating pollution with more ambitious goals.
In a recently issued circular, the country pledged in-depth efforts in the nationwide battle to prevent and control pollution, and detailed major targets for the improvement of its ecological environment, aiming to continuously reduce the total discharge of major pollutants over the coming years.
"By 2025, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of the country's GDP will be reduced by 18 percent from the level in 2020," said the circular jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
The circular also specified that in cities at or above the prefectural level, the intensity of PM 2.5 pollutants will be decreased by 10 percent, the proportion of days with good air quality will reach 87.5 percent, and the proportion of surface water of relatively good quality (at or above Grade III) will be above 85 percent during the period.
China has always attached great importance to pollution prevention and control, and has carried out fundamental, pioneering and long-term work, with its targets successfully achieved and the ecological environment significantly improved.
Early in 2018, the country called for a fight against pollution and made specific targets for 2020. By the end of 2020, China had surpassed those targets.
Though progress has been made, China continues to face tough tasks in peaking its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, as pressures on ecological and environmental protection efforts have yet to be fundamentally eased, and pollutions are not rare in certain industries and regions.
To deal with the tough issues, the circular highlighted "in-depth efforts" to cut pollution.
"In-depth efforts" indicate the country will touch upon problems of deeper levels and wider areas in the fight against pollution, with tougher standards, said an official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
In promoting green and low-carbon development, China will advance the carbon peaking progress in key industries including steel, non-ferrous metals and construction materials, and resolutely curb the haphazard development of projects that are energy-intensive and have high emissions.
The country will also accelerate the low-carbon transition of energy consumption. According to the circular, the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption should increase to around 20 percent during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).
In order to protect its blue skies, China aims to limit the proportion of days with severe pollution or worse to less than 1 percent by 2025. At the same time, the total emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides should be reduced by more than 10 percent from 2020.
The circular also noted measures to improve water quality, control the contamination risk of soil, and protect the ecology and environment.
"By 2035, a green way of life and production will have been formed, carbon emissions will stabilize and decline after reaching a peak, and the country's ecological environment will see fundamental improvement," said the circular.