Vice-Premier pledges 'clean water, blue skies'

Updated: 2011-12-21 06:20


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

BEIJING - Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that the government will strive to provide people with a more livable environment featuring clean water and blue skies.

Li made the remark at the 7th National Environmental Protection Conference held in Beijing, stressing that the government should keep a balance between economic development and environmental preservation.

The vice-premier said a basic suitable environment is a public product that the government should make sure is provided to its people, adding that the government should make more preparations for monitoring levels of PM2.5, or particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less, in the air.

He said China made obvious efforts in environmental protection during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), but environmental problems remain a weakness for economic and social development in China.

The official revealed that the country's amounts of major pollutant emissions had increased in 2011, urging strengthened awareness of environmental protection.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), Chinese cities should realize an 85-percent treatment rate for urban sewage, he said.

"Strengthening environmental protection could promote China's transformation of its economic growth pattern and promote China's international cooperation, as there are more and more trade barriers in the name of environmental issues," Li said.

To strengthen environmental protection and resource conservation could also create more economic need and promote new industries, he said.

It is estimated that industries related to environmental protection in China will achieve an output value of more than 10 trillion yuan ($1.54 trillion) during the 2011-2015 period.

As China upgrades traditional industries and develops new high-tech industries, it is also essential to develop the service industry which could provide huge amounts of jobs and emit far fewer pollutants, Li said.

The official also said the government should provide necessary assistance to environmental protection NGOs and volunteers, so as to encourage more people to devote themselves to the cause.

Also on Tuesday, China's central government publicized a work plan for environmental protection in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), which sets a target to reduce sulfur dioxide emission by eight percent by 2015.

Pledging to mobilize resources from all social circles to participate in environmental protection, the plan estimates that a total of about 3.4 trillion yuan will be needed to finance all environmental protection projects in the period. The plan is available on