The Communist Party of China (CPC) campaign on the Scientific Outlook on Development says the plan will fulfill the country's goals for energy conservation and environmental protection and establishment of a sustainable developing mode.
With growing public awareness along with calls to act on air and water pollution problems, the central government has tightened its environmental policies and enforcement embodied in the Scientific Outlook on Development as well as the national Five-Year Plan to combat pollutants from 2006 to 2010.
The CPC launched an 18-month campaign in September to publicize and implement the Scientific Outlook on Development among Party members, especially leading Party members and government officials, and carry it out effectively.
As a key strategic idea for the CPC, the Scientific Outlook on Development is officially regarded as a weathervane in the new century for China's overall development.
In the new era, China's development certainly cannot copy its old polluting and energy-wasting mode and the government says the new campaign marks greater efforts made by the whole country.
Chinese President and CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao said in his keynote report to the 17th National Congress of the CPC last October that the Scientific Outlook on Development initiated by the 16th CPC Central Committee in 2003 is part of the theory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics that stands alongside Deng Xiaoping Theory and the "Three Represents", the theory put forward by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. The "Three Represents" means that the Party should represent advanced social productive forces, advanced culture, and the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.
Hu says that the Scientific Outlook on Development takes development as its essence, putting people first as its core, comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development as its basic requirement, and overall consideration as its fundamental approach.
Hu emphasizes the establishment of a harmonious socialist society, which features democracy and the rule of law, equity and justice, honesty and fraternity, vigor and vitality, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature.
Harmony between humanity and nature depends on handling relations between economic development, population growth, the use of natural resources, and environmental protection, according to the plan.
Officials at all levels and in different sectors and departments, may hold their own outlooks, views and understanding of the Scientific Outlook on Development and are urged to take action on the "green campaign," says the plan.
Vice-President Xi Jinping pointed out that the Scientific Outlook on Development requires a fast pace in an appropriate way. He said it is focused both on the scale and quality of development.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection is one of the most significant departments responsible for implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development.
Zhou Shengxian, minister of environmental protection, says environmental protection has begun to play a key role in the country's economic and social development, and, as such, it is important to implement the new campaign.
He says his department will focus on the control and treatment of water, air and soil pollution and give top priority to ensuring the safety of drinking water.
"We will be focusing on capping emissions, improving monitoring, tackling rural pollution, protecting the sources of drinking water, and coordinating all water utilities," Zhou says, adding that the ministry will gradually implement the policies for each goal.
Pan Yue, deputy minister of environmental protection says that the Scientific Outlook on Development is not only changing the mode of economic development, one of the goals is to push for the establishment of an ecological civilization.
In his keynote report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last October, President Hu said construction of an ecological civilization is one of the requirements for China to build an affluent society.
Hu noted that building awareness of resource conservation and an environmentally friendly society should be a priority ahead of industrialization and modernization, starting from every department, and even every family.
"Green production and consumption is very important to the new strategy for industrialization emphasized in the Scientific Outlook on Development," Pan says.
He adds that new economic policies, such as ecological subsidies, environmental taxes and resource tariffs, are needed to solve environmental problems.
Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection, Wu Xiaoqing says that it was vital to implement the Scientific Outlook on Development last year when China reduced its emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2), by 3.96 percent compared to the same period last year, and the chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, dropped by 2.48 percent.
"It has laid a solid foundation for realizing the country's 11th Five Year Plan," Wu says.
China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) calls for cutting energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) up to 20 percent by 2010 while reducing major pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide by 10 percent.
Wu points out the significance of the development of environmental protection industry, which has kept a 15 percent growth since 2006, with an annual output value expected to reach 1.1 trillion yuan.
"The development of the environmental protection industry will have positive impacts on China's energy conservation and emissions reduction plan, and should be fully encouraged," Wu adds.
Zhang Guobao, administrator of the National Energy Administration, says the focus of China's energy sector is to optimize its energy structure.
In 2007, China's primary energy output was estimated at 2.4 billion tons of standard coal while its consumption was about 2.7 billion tons of coal, ranking second in the world.
With the country's industrialization and urbanization, energy safety, environmental protection and climate change have created huge problems for the country.
Based on the Scientific Outlook on Development, optimizing China's energy structure should include diversifying energy, developing clean energy and securing a dependable and consistent energy supply, Zhang says.
The development of new and alternative energies, along with clean coal technologies, deserve more attention and investment, Zhang says.
Finding a balance between development, energy and a clean environment, is a long-term tough job that needs innovative ideas and notions, Zhang says.
Academics say that it an energetic, efficient, open and fair system is need to implement the Scientific Outlook on Development and that it should be adopted across the country and in different industries.
Many government officials say applying the plan needs concrete and comprehensive efforts by the entire Chinese society.