BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council
has approved in principle a five-year environmental protection plan that sets
out guidelines, major tasks and measures for the government to tackle pollution.
The plan, approved during an executive meeting
presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday, has put "pollution control and
prevention" as its focus with the aim of achieving the environmental protection
targets set by the government last year.
The government set goals in its five-year plan to
reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent
and major pollutant discharges by 10 percent in the 11th five-year plan period
"China is suffering from increasing conflicts between
economic and social development and constraints in resources and energy," the
State Council said in a circular.
The tasks laid out included:
-- Accelerating economic restructuring to create an
industrial system that will aid resource conservation and environmental
protection, along with the control of inappropriate development activities.
"Techniques, facilities and backward production
measures that lead to too much waste of resources and serious pollution must be
eliminated," the circular said.
-- Improving supervision, management and law
enforcement of pollution.
-- Advancing environmental science and technology
through innovation to improve environmental protection capability.
-- Enhancing cooperation between government
departments and local governments to better resolve trans-regional environmental
-- Reinforcing environment education to enhance the
public's awareness of eco-system protection.
"A mechanism should be established to encourage
government, enterprises, and non-government forces to invest in pollution
control projects," said the circular.
China's environment watchdog said at the beginning of
this year that the country failed to reach its pollution control goals last year
as the economy grew faster than expected.