Commentary: China puts mandatory restraints on environmental protection

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-25 20:39:09|Editor: Yurou
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BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- China has again showed its firm determination in protecting the environment through mandatory restraints, as pollution control is an integral part of its goal to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020.

On Sunday, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council publicly announced a guideline for enhancing environmental protection and winning the battle against air, water and soil pollution, specifying concrete pollution control targets for 2020 and beyond.

Over the past five years, China has made important strides in fighting pollution and pushing forward the Beautiful China initiative, turning itself into an important participant, contributor and leader of global ecological civilization.

However, the central authorities are fully aware of the difficulties and challenges ahead, as some local areas and government departments are not shouldering their responsibilities, the contradiction between economic and social development and environmental protection is still conspicuous, and the country is frequented by heavy air pollution.

The problems were part of the reasons behind the mandatory requirements set for different aspects of environmental protection and efforts to get all sides involved to secure a victory in the tough battle against pollution.

In response to people's ever-growing needs for a better life, the country is determined to provide more quality ecological products and fight pollution by stepping up the implementation of tough measures.

By 2020, cities at the prefecture level and above that fail to meet air quality standards should see their density of PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, fall at least 18 percent from 2015 levels, while the number of good-air days in cities should reach over 80 percent annually.

Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide should drop at least 15 percent from 2015 levels, while chemical oxygen demand and emission of ammonia nitrogen should decrease by over 10 percent.

The guideline also specified concrete targets for improving water quality, curbing land pollution, forest coverage ratio and energy conservation.

Apart from those mandatory targets, authorities made it clear that local Party committees and governments must shoulder the "political responsibility" of seeking ecological civilization progress and environmental protection.

Local governments are required to draft and assign a list of responsibilities to concrete departments.

The country will enhance the evaluation of the pollution control efforts of central and local Party and government organs, and the accountability system will be tightened.

With the government taking the leading role in pollution control, companies are urged to take their own responsibilities in improving the environment, while the public is encouraged to adopt a green way of life.

China is serious about winning the battle against pollution, as it knows that a sound environment is the most universal well-being for the people.