11:33 13.03.2018

China Environmental Watchdog Is Getting Stronger

Source: Bloomberg
China Environmental Watchdog Is Getting Stronger

China is creating a stronger environmental watchdog as it aims to cap world-leading carbon dioxide emissions and clear smoggy skies.

The newly created Ministry of Ecology & Environment will be tasked with cutting emissions and leading the nation’s fight against climate change, responsibilities held previously by the powerful National Development & Reform Commission, according to a proposal released Tuesday during the National People’s Congress.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to punish polluters “with an iron hand” and Premier Li Keqiang said last week at the opening of the annual legislative meeting that the country’s priorities included “defending the blue sky.” The environmental reboot is one part of a sweeping regulatory overhaul that includes merging financial regulators, revamping the tax department and creating an office that oversees Xi’s “Belt and Road” foreign investment initiative.

"The most interesting move, and the one that bears the biggest international implication, is the merger of NDRC’s climate change department into the new Ministry of Ecology & Environment," said Li Shuo, a senior policy adviser at Greenpeace East Asia. "This is in line with the idea of consolidating power in one ministry for a stronger and better coordinated environmental agenda."

While there have been signs of improvement, China is fighting a long war against pollution. On the same day as the new reforms were being announced in Beijing, the city said its air was heavily polluted and has issued an orange alert, the second-highest level, until Wednesday.

Bye Bye Blue Skies

Beijing pollution levels are rising after the capital enjoyed its cleanest winter air in years

China is aiming to cap its carbon dioxide emissions by around 2030. It will raise spending to curb pollution by 19 percent to 40.5 billion yuan ($6.4 billion) this year and aims to cut sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 percent, according to Li’s work report last week.

According to the State Council on Tuesday, the new environment ministry’s new roles include:

Integrate scattered ecological protection responsibilities.

Unify supervision and administrative law enforcement responsibilities.

Strengthen pollution controls and secure ecological safety.

Supervise and prevent groundwater pollution, previously under the Ministry of Land & Resources.

The country also created a Ministry of Natural Resources:

Combines the Ministry of Land & Resources, State Oceanic Administration and National Administration of Surveying, Mapping & Geoinformation with some area planning responsibilities of the National Development & Reform Commission.

Supervise development and protection of natural resources.

Take on urban and rural planning, as well water, grassland and forestry rights management from related ministries.

“It seems that a lot of capabilities were carved from the NDRC” for the new ministries, said Sophie Lu, a Beijing-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It will be interesting to see if the NDRC becomes less influential in the future, as it has easily become the most influential ministerial-level department under the State Council since 2008."

Recent Posts

See All
Association Between Ambient Air Pollution and Daily Hospital Admissions for Depression in 75 Chinese Cities
16:58 05.08.2020
Association Between Ambient Air Pollution and Daily Hospital Admissions for Depression in 75 Chinese Cities
A study has been conducted, using data from the Chinese national medical insurance databases for urban populations to reveal the short-term exposure to major ambient air pollutants and the link to the daily hospital admission risk for depression in 75 Chinese cities during the period 2013–2017.
Source: Psychiatry Online
China cover-up: Chinese scientists investigated on virus origin as second wave fears grow
16:53 05.08.2020
China cover-up: Chinese scientists investigated on virus origin as second wave fears grow
The WHO will lead an international mission into China to investigate the origins of the virus. Research will be attempted to find the animal responsible for the mutating the virus. A time frame is yet to be confirmed, however, it is expected to take weeks. The WHO investigation comes after months of accusations that the international health body was too slow to respond to the virus. US President pulled funding for the WHO over beliefs that the organisation was a “China puppet”. As of 5th August 2020, Coronavirus has spread across the world, infecting 18,480,000 people
Source: Express
China accused of terrifying surveillance plot as DNA 'harvested' under COVID-19 action
17:59 03.08.2020
China accused of terrifying surveillance plot as DNA 'harvested' under COVID-19 action
Health officials from China have been sent to Hong Kong to conduct COVID-19 testing - prompting suggestions they are using the pandemic as an excuse to harvest the data of residents as part of a wider programme of surveillance. It is believed that it is a PR stunt, China showing its helping the people of Hong Kong to pretend they are going to solve the Covid crisis.
Source: Express