Cabinet’s first annual environmental report to legislature leads to stronger oversight

At its bi-monthly session, from Monday through Thursday, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) began to review data on the environment and the status of environmental protection goals implemented last year.

The move follows the new Environmental Protection Law which took effect in early 2015, ordering governments of county-level and above to report annually on their environmental conditions.

According to the report, China beat its annual target to cut the emissions of principal pollutants in 2015, and met all environmental targets set for 2011-2015 as scheduled.

The report attributed the progress to improved legislative work, strict law enforcement and supervision.

However, issues such as heavy pollution, ecosystem damage and high environmental risks remain.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) CHEN JINING, Minister of Environmental Protection:
“China is now facing a grim situation in terms of environmental protection, with the bearing capacities of its resources and environment reaching or nearing the upper limits. During the 2016-2020 period, China will establish a rigorous environmental protection system, and try to win the war against air, water and soil pollution. Meanwhile, China will be committed to reducing emissions of major pollutants, preventing and controlling environmental risks, and improving environmental quality across the board.”
Chen added that China will proceed with the making and revision of related laws, and ensure strict and effective law enforcement.

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