US$175 bln earmarked for
China plans to invest 1.4 trillion yuan (US$175 billion) in environmental protection between 2006 and 2010 - more than 1.5 percent of the national GDP, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The money will be spent on water pollution control, improving the air quality in cities, disposing solid waste, harnessing soil erosion and improving the rural environment, said He Bingguang, deputy head of the NDRC's environment department.
At a cost of 180 billion yuan, sewage treatment facilities with a combined daily capacity of 40 million tons will be built in 10 river valleys to dispose of waste water discharged by cities, said He. And a total of 200 billion yuan will be used to treat industrial waste water, according to the official.
Part of the funds will be used to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide and dust in 113 major Chinese cities.
China will also set up 31 provincial-level dangerous waste disposing centers to treat domestic garbage.
According to the plan, the investment will also serve to build facilities to guarantee nuclear safety and prevent nuclear radiation, He said.
Official estimates show that the annual output value of China's environmental protection industry will top 880 billion yuan by the end of 2010, with an annual growth rate of 15 percent.
China to Invest $175
Billion in Environmental Protection Over Five Years
China has announced plans
to invest $175 billion (1.4 trillion yuan) in environmental
protection between 2006 and 2010, according to official news
sources in China.
The money-equal to more than 1.5 percent of China’s annual gross domestic product (GDP)-will be used to control water pollution, improve air quality in China’s cities, increase solid waste disposal and reduce soil erosion in rural areas, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
China has created an economic miracle fueled by rapid industrial growth and international trade - two decades of nearly double-digit economic growth - but at an environmental cost so high that it has led to internal riots, international protests, and the arrest of Chinese environmentalists. Air pollution has fouled China’s air, chemical spills have poisoned rivers that supply drinking water to millions of people, raw sewage has given rise to near-epidemics of waterborne diseases, and soil contamination ruins millions of tons of grain each year.
The new investments are intended to repair some of the environmental damage already done, and to help prevent future problems.
China plans to build sewage-treatment plants in 10 river valleys to dispose of waste water from urban areas, reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide and dust in 113 major Chinese cities, and set up 31 dangerous-waste disposal centers to treat domestic garbage. China also plans to build facilities to ensure nuclear safety and to prevent nuclear radiation, according to the NDRC.
These investments are expected to pay economic as well as environmental dividends. According to official estimates, China’s environmental protection industry will generate yearly revenues of $110 billion (880 billion yuan) by the end of 2010, with an estimated annual growth rate of 15 percent thereafter.
China to invest $175 bln in environment clean-up
China plans to invest 1.4 trillion yuan ($175 billion) in environmental protection in the next five years, state media said on Tuesday, to curb water and air pollution so severe it causes riots and health problems.
The money -- equivalent to about 1.5 percent of GDP -- is to be spent on measures including control of water pollution, improving air quality in cities and halting soil erosion, the official Xinhua news agency quoted He Bingguang, of the State Development and Reform Commission, as saying.
Sewage treatment plants would be built in 10 river valleys to dispose of waste water discharged by urban areas and part of the funds would also be used to reduce sulphur dioxide and dust in major cities.
China is home to 20 of the world's 30 most smog-choked cities.
The country also faces serious pollution of its soil, Xinhua added, saying that the problem threatens China's food safety, people's health and the sustainable development of agriculture.
"It is estimated that nationwide 12 million tons of grain are polluted by heavy metals that have found their way into soil each year," Xinhua quoted Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, as saying in a separate report.
China produced about 484 million tons of grain in 2005.
The country has been struggling to curb its environmental degradation, the product of more than two decades of near-double-digit annual growth.
Its pollution woes became a subject of international concern last November when a toxic spill poisoned the Songhua river, a source of drinking water for millions.
($1 = 8 yuan)