14 Mar, 2016

Published article – How China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment.

An article was recently published at www.chinafile.com discussing China’s 13th Five-year plan. Premier Li Keqiang reported that “China had succeeded in meeting or exceeding the previous Five-Year Plan’s environmental goals”. Going forward, China plans to reduce its energy intensity by 15%, address issues with air, soil and water pollution and focus on the safety of workers.

The article goes on to highlight that China’s greatest environmental challenges are with soil and water. Water is a major priority, placed immediately following energy targets in Premier Li’s work report, acknowledging the “relatively poor” quality of China’s water and the “severe” over-extraction of groundwater in some regions.” Excessive levels of nutrients are causing the eutrophication of many of China’s water bodies. The article states that the eutrophication issue in China “is caused mainly by untreated sewage and agricultural run-off. The 13th Five-Year Plan sets sewage treatment targets of 95 percent in cities and 85 percent in counties. It also places a cap on agricultural fertilizer and pesticides, limiting their use to current levels”.

The Chinese government is serious about addressing China’s environmental issues and the authors of the article state that “this is the first time that environmental accountability has been mentioned in a Premier’s work report”. Officials also stated that “environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be severely punished”. It seems as though the Chinese government is focusing on building on improvements from previous Five-year plans, however acknowledge the significant environmental challenges ahead.

The full article can be found at http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/environment/how-chinas-13th-five-year-plan-addresses-energy-and-environment