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THERE will be no return to the era of pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Limited Jersey , despite the slowing economy, China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining said yesterday.
For example, China would continue to restructure its economy away from heavily polluting companies and create more room for “good” companies to develop and focus on technological innovation, he said.
However, there was a need to rein in local governments, some of whom are still reluctant to enforce environmental laws Aaron Rodgers Limited Jersey , favoring economic growth instead.
“We need to hold local governments accountable,” said Chen.
“Only if we hold them accountable for environmental responsibilities will the enterprises be more law-abiding.”
For decades, China pursued economic growth with insufficient care given to the damage that meant for the country’s environment.
In recent years, the government has changed tack as it tries to move away from an economy dependent on heavy industry to a more sustainable one based on domestic consumption and services.
“What is development? We used to equate it with GDP and production,” said Chen. “We have come to believe that nature is valuable and priceless. We have abandoned the former idea of contrasting development with environmental protection but rather believe the two elements can be unified and balanced.”
Today, China is aiming to transform its economic development model and pursue “economic quality Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Packers Jersey , but also environmental quality,” Chen told a news conference during the annual meeting of the country’s legislature.
“Only when those polluters bow out of the market will it be possible to set aside some development space for good companies to focus on innovation and improving product quality, and to avoid the phenomenon of ‘bad money driving out good’ in our development,” he said.
China’s slowing growth, attempts to refocus its economy on services, and long-term efforts to get rid of overcapacity in industries including coal and steel Aaron Rodgers Packers Jersey , are helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases.
But local governments’ continued push for economic growth in their cities and provinces, and state companies’ tendency to spend large, can lead to projects that are at odds with central policy-makers’ efforts to clean up the area, according to environmentalists.
China is the world’s largest coal user, but coal consumption has fallen for the past two years, and it has become the world’s leading investor in renewable energy.
Chen said that a new team under his ministry that has begun moving from province to province this year will hold local governments accountable for environmental protection and addressing “the harm of local protectionism.”
Last week Women's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , the ministry announced that it was setting up three separate agencies to deal with air, soil and water pollution, rather than trying to manage all three together.
China already has annual coal consumption limits in some cities and provinces, and last month it announced a ban on approving new coal mines that will be in place until the end of 2019.
Last week, the government said it would be laying off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel sectors over the next two years.
China, often hit by choking smog that blankets the populous east and north Women's Aaron Rodgers Jersey , is doing a better job at controlling pollution than developed countries at similar stages of development, he said.
Beijing frequently features near the top of the list of China’s most polluted cities as emissions from vehicles and heavy industry combine with weather conditions to raise smog levels. The worst pollution tends to coincide with low winds.
Large parts of China suffered a three-week bout of heavy smog in November and December, but the situation improved in the first two months of this year, Chen said.
Brushing off suggestions that improvement only came about because of heavy winds, Chen said the nation had already made huge efforts to tackle pollution and acid rain.
“We have solved the problems earlier and better than developed countries,” he said. “I believe that on the treatment of smog Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , we will also do it well and our development will become increasingly green.”
The government said earlier this week that it would aim to pass a law aimed at tackling the soil pollution that has raised concerns over ensuring food safety.
Chen said the legislation was taking a long time because the issue was complex, but insisted that even without the law, the government was working hard to improve agricultural land.
He also said China was drafting a law allowing it to levy an “environmental tax” on its biggest polluters. He said the aim was not to increase the tax burden on enterprises, but to create a system that would encourage them to reduce emissions.
He said China would also work to tackle the problem of “dispersed coal,” or coal burnt directly by households or small businesses, where emissions are not controlled.
According to industry experts Aaron Rodgers Jersey , around 400 million tons of coal are sold on the market every year for direct combustion, with emissions five times the level of power plants. Parliamentary delegates have this year called for tighter restrictions on the sale and distribution of coal for direct combustion.
“Overall, we will need a long period of time to adjust our energy structure, so we need to positively promote clean energy ... and at the same time promote the clean use of coal,” Chen said.
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