Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageChina steps up on 'war' against pollution with more punishments

By Caroline Leopold     Jul 3, 2015 in Environment
Beijing - Beijing officials have declared a war on pollution, vowing to abandon its previous economic model of growth at the expense of China's natural resources.
In the face of growing public pressure, leaders in Beijing have declared a war on pollution, a problem that is destroying China's environment and natural resources.
Bejing's strategy is to tighten regulations and punish officials who allowed pollution to grow under their watch. Officials who have already retired from public service will be held accountable and potentially punished, as reported by state media.
Even officials who have retired will be held accountable and punished for pollution which occurred under their watch, state media said on Wednesday after a government meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.
"Take the building of a beautiful China as the goal," state television said, according to Reuters. "Let those who protect (the environment) benefit, and those who harm it be punished."
Chinese police arrested thousands of people suspected of environmental crimes last year, a minister told parliament this week as China vows to enforce laws that preserve the environment.
Further action is being taken by Beijing to address heavy metal pollution and the government has committed 2.8 billion yuan ($451 million) to a clean up. The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has received 332 complaints of environmental hazards.
Farmland that has become unusable due to the leaching of metals and toxins into the soil is making the land unsuitable to grow crops.
Whether environmental protections will be upheld remains to be seen. Promises of stiff penalties and better law enforcement have been made before. Bejing has made these promises to enforce a new law protecting the environment, which was enacted beginning January 1. The law allowed law enforcement to impose unlimited fines and jail time for repeat offenders.
The main challenge is that local governments and powerful state-owned companies still continue their policies of growth at any cost, even at the expense of clean air and water. However, with the destruction of natural resources such as arable land and water, economic growth may not be able to move farther without a saner environmental policy.
More about China, Pollution, heavy metal pollution
More news from
Latest News
Top News