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Party Chief of Ministry of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie delivered a speech on Environment Day of June 5

2017-06-06author:source:

Party Chief of Ministry of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie delivered a speech on Environment Day of June 5

                                             ------Calling for establishing the awareness of “Green is Gold” and promoting green development model and lifestyle

 

Party Chief of Ministry of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie delivered a speech at the Session for Commemorating Environment Day and the International Summit of New Environmental Protection Technology, calling for establishing the awareness of “Green is Gold”, promoting green development model and lifestyle and engaging the public in environmental protection.

 

Mr. Li noted that “Green is Gold” proposed by President Xi Jinping reveals the fundamental relationship between development and protection, updates the understanding on natural resources, denies the mentality that sets development against protection, and points to a methodology under which development and protection promote each other and co-exist harmoniously. Balancing the relationship between development and protection is an intrinsic requirement to realize sustainable development as well as an important principle for advancing modernization. “Green is Gold”, as the theme of  Environment Day this year, will guide the public to establish such awareness, so as to respect nature, follow laws of nature and protect nature, and to live a a green lifestyle and build a beautiful China.

 Party Chief Li also pointed out that the Chinese government always attaches great importance to environmental protection. President Xi proposes to develop a green production model and lifestyle, and to make sound environment a growth point for public well-being, a supporting point for sound economic and social development, and a key point for improving China’s image. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded, guided by the strategic idea of ecological civilization development raised by President Xi, the Chinese government has planned and implemented a series of pioneering initiatives with long-term significance. Under such efforts, the progress in ecological civilization is substantially accelerated and green development sees initial achievements. Historical changes are taking place across the board in the understanding and practice of ecological environment protection. Measures have been taken to implement the function-oriented zoning system, delimit and keep to the ecological protection redlining, and to optimize the planning on national space development. The supply-side structural reform was advanced, industrial restructuring accelerated, and energy mix changed profoundly. Some key reform measures such as environmental protection inspection of the CPC Central Committee were implemented and saw progress, and the newly revised Environmental Protection Law and other environment-related laws came into force. Three action plans on prevention and control of air, water and soil pollution were implemented across the board, and ecological environment quality was improved. In 2016, the average rate of good-weather days in 338 cities at prefecture level or above registered 78.8%, up by 2.1 percentage points from 2015. In the 74 cities subject to the new ambient air quality standards in the phase I implementation, the average rate of good-weather days reached 74.2%, an increase of 13.7 percentage points compared with that of 2013. The average PM 2.5 concentration was down by 30.6% from the 2013 level. Among the monitoring sections of national surface water, the share of sections recorded with water quality of Grade I to Grade III were raised to 67.8%, while that with water quality worse than Grade V dropped to 8.6%. As China steps up its efforts to protect the environment, there’s a growing influence of ecological civilization globally.  

 

As noted by Party Chief Li, as we are hailing these progress, we must never overlook the fact that the relationship between economic development and environment protection remain unbalanced, and ecological environment is still one of the major weak links in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. Therefore, we are still in a critical period of advancing environmental protection with arduous tasks lying ahead. It’s crucial to give priority to ecological conservation and adhere to green development. There must be a holistic approach towards environmental protection to ensure it covers all social aspect, sectors, and regions and is integrated into the whole development process. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) will work to promote green development model and lifestyle, and everyone must be part of it given that it concerns the life of everyone. In a view to push forward a green, low-carbon and culturally advanced lifestyle and consumption model featuring frugality, moderate consumption and healthiness, and to engage everyone in this endeavor, the MEP is working to enhance environmental publicity through various means and media, and promises greater openness of environmental information by setting up official account in Weibo and Wechat, and by implementing a trial news briefing system. Through the above channels, official interpretations of environmental protection policies and actions are released to the public. There are also steps to encourage public participation to protect their rights to know, to oversee, and to participate in. Measures will be taken to facilitate public access to environmental facilities and strengthen cooperation with environmental NGOs based on mutual trust in order to enlarge the alliance of environmental protection.

Party Chief Li also stressed that as one of the most promising area, green development points the way for scientific and technological development and industrial transformation. Development model transformation and economic restructuring are one of the hardest nuts to crack in advancing green development, and tackling environmental pollution in a comprehensive manner is also a rather challenging task. From a macro perspective, innovation in environmental science and technologies is conducive to economic transformation and restructuring. From a micro perspective, it delivers direct benefits to addressing environmental pollution. In light of the above, the MEP is going to push forward innovation on green science and technologies in the following five fronts. First, a problem-oriented approached will be adopted. With improving environmental quality at its core, breakthroughs will be made in key technologies on pollution control and ecological restoration. Second, integrated innovation will be carried forward by integrating various mature and cutting-edge technologies. Third, there must be a strengthened link between industries, universities and research institutes to fully integrate technological innovation into industrial development. Fourth, the MEP will make environmental technologies affordable and accessible to all, devoting efforts to develop an environmental technology management system that delivers environmental benefits and brings down pollution treatment cost at the same time. Fifth, the MEP will actively engage in two-way exchange with the international community on environmental technologies, on one hand introducing in cutting-edge technologies from the international community and on the other hand disseminating China’s practice with the outside world.

E-mail:li.yutong@mepfeco.org.cn

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