Year 2006 broke several records for China. The first one is good news for this great country as its economic growth was of 10.7 percent, the most important for the past 15 years.
The second one is very bad news as 2006 was the “darkest year” for pollution in the People’s Republic of China.
The quote is coming from Mr. Pan Yue, the vice minister of SEPA, the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration.
The Chinese Government is willing to decrease both energy consumption and air pollution. But year 2006 brought increase in both, and this in an important way. As a matter of fact, 161 major pollution incidents occurred in China last year.
Mr. Pan Yue, the vice minister of SEPA (official website) declared that local government agencies and companies are responsible for these bad results as they do not follow the central government rules and regulations. Companies do not invest in less polluting equipment or do not use them as they increase costs.
The SEPA blacklisted and stopped 82 polluting projects and four industrial cities as they weren’t respecting regulations. These cities and companies won’t be able to have new projects as SEPA won’t approve them before these places will work on their emissions and pollutions.
This agency is willing to bring awareness on ecological problems to the media and population, and this to decrease pollution and ecological problems. According to this administration : “ Environmental pollution caused 511.8 billion yuan (about US$64 billion) in economic losses in 2004, amounting to 3.05 percent of GDP that year, according to government research released last September.” (source)
According to the French newspaper, le Figaro (source), the President Hu Jintao decided to reverse the Chinese slogan for economic growth at all cost. Now, for China, it is a question to act well and fast (you hao ! you kuai !).
Now pollution is considered as a very serious threat to the development of the People’s Republic of China. This situation is partly due to the large use of coal for electricity generation. China is nowadays the second largest polluter of the world, just after the United States of America.