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China pledges war on pollution at National People’s Congress

Stories
5Mar
China has big plans this year, including a war on pollution and opening the nation more widely to the outside world in all areas, according to the government report given at the National People’s Congress this morning on the 5th of March, 2014.
As China is INBAR’s host government, INBAR Director-General Dr. Hans Friederich attended the opening session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing today.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) is the national legislative body of the People’s Republic of China, and it is the largest parliamentary body in the world, with nearly 3,000 delegates coming together in the only full session of the Congress held annually.  Each delegate is elected to a five-year term by provincial congresses, in addition to a 175-member standing committee in Beijing that oversees legislative issues for the remainder of the year.  The Congress meets every spring for 10 to 14 days, with this year’s meeting scheduled from March 5-13.
While China’s financial growth target is generally seen as the top order of business, many will also be looking to the topic of environmental protection, with increasing smog and pollution in many parts of the country.
“We will declare war against pollution and fight it with the same determination we battled poverty,” said Premier Li Keqiang.China has previously announced its short-term goals for the bamboo sector through 2015 which include building 540,000 ha of new bamboo forests and improving 1.9 million ha of existing forests, projecting a total of almost 7.4 million ha by the end of 2015.

Premier Li announced this morning that China plans to convert marginal farmland back into forests and grassland with this year’s target of 333,300 ha.  It also plans to speed up development and the use of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies and products.  In the past, INBAR has implemented successful land restoration projects in India, with plans in the works for a similar program in Ethiopia.
“With all these efforts, we can realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” said Premier Li.
The National Development and Reform Commission went on to say it would establish a national market for trading carbon emission rights and continue to engage in international negotiations on climate change.  This is an important area of INBAR’s work, with an English version of its original Chinese methodology for carbon accounting released at UNFCCC COP 19 last November in Warsaw.
This morning’s report also noted that China plans to forcibly impose green building standards on the construction of buildings for public welfare and public buildings of 20,000 square meters or more.
A final report of China’s 2014 plans will be published after the close of the Congress next week.