State Council Document No.39 
The People's Government of each province, autonomous region and municipality directly under the State Council, each ministry and commission of the State Council and departments directly under the State Council:
In order to implement the scientific outlook on development in an all round way, accelerate the development of socialist harmonious society and achieve the goal of building a well-off society across China, we must put environmental protection work in more important strategic position. The State Council has made the following decisions:
I. Fully Understanding the Importance of Environmental Protection Work
1. Positive Progress in Environmental Protection
The Central Committee of Communist Party of China and the State Council attach great importance to environmental protection and take a series of key policies and measures. Each region and department has continued their building up of environmental protection work. With rapid economic growth and evident rise of living standard, the overall environmental quality of China has basically remained stable with improvement in some cities and regions. The total discharge of most key pollutants has been under control with the decline of pollution emission intensity of industrial outputs. In addition, environmental control of key river basins and regions has been under continuously promotion and ecological conservation and control enhanced. Also, national regulatory system for nuclear and radiation has enjoyed further improvement. Public environmental awareness and participation have obtained evident improvement. Moreover, China has seriously implemented international convention and won good image in international community.
2. Environmental Situation Still Grave
Though we have made positive achievements, the grave situation for China's environment has not yet been changed. The total discharge amount of major pollutants outstrips the environmental bearing capacity. There is widespread water pollution in nearly all river sections flowing through cities. Air pollution is serious in many cites and pollution from acid rain is on the rise. The damages of POPs has emerged, the area of soil pollution are expanding, the pollution of offshore areas are worsening, and the environmental safety concerning nuclear and radiation have had some hidden troubles. Ecological environment is under serious damage with massive water and soil erosion, stone desertification and grassland degradation as well as loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecological system. The environmental problems emerged in developed countries over 100 years of industrialization process in different development phases have made concentrated appearance in China in the last 20-odd years showing structural, complex and compressed characteristics. Environmental pollution and ecological damage have caused huge economic losses, threatened public health, social stability and environmental safety. The population of China will continuously increase with quadrupling of GDP in the next 15 years. The consumption of resources and energy will be on continuous rise, placing more pressure over environmental protection.
3. Inconsistency between Environmental Regulations, Institutions and Work with the Requirements
At present, there is quite pre-eminent phenomenon that some local authorities focus on GDP growth rather than environmental protection. The legal system of environmental system is not sound and environmental legislation does not adapt to the requirements. It is not uncommon that environmental laws are not fully observed or strictly enforced. Environmental protection mechanism is not well established with such phenomena as insufficient input, many accumulated historical problems, slow progress in pollution control and relatively low marketization. Environmental protection management system has not been streamlined and the efficiency requires further increase. In addition, the capacity in supervision and management is weak and the State has insufficient capacity in such areas as environmental monitoring, information, science and technology, publicity, education and comprehensive assessment. Environmental awareness of some leaders and public participation require further improvement.
4. Putting Environmental Protection Work at More Important Strategic Position
Enhancing environmental protection is an important measure for the implementation of the outlook on scientific development, innate requirements for building a well-off society in an all round way, the practical action for administration for the people and improving administrative capacity and strong guarantee for building a harmonious socialist society. The strengthening of environmental protection is beneficial to such activities as economic restructuring; transformation of growth mode and better and faster growth; the development of environmental industry and its relevant industries; fostering of new growth engine and increase of employment; the rise of environmental awareness and moral level of the whole society to promote the development of socialist cultural and ideological progress; guarantee of public health, raising living standard and longevity; the long-term interests of the Chinese Nation and pass on a good environment for our future generations. Therefore, we must apply the outlook on scientific development to guide and direct environmental protection work and determine to address environmental problems.
II. The Outlook on Scientific Development Guides Environmental Protection Work
Guided by the important thoughts of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the "Three Representations", we will put in place the spirit of the 5th Plenary Session of the 16th CCCPC and address environmental problems during the development in accordance with the requirements for implementing the outlook on scientific development, building a harmonious socialist society with adherence to the basic State policy on environmental protection. We will actively promote economic restructuring and the fundamental change of economic growth mode. We will change the past practice of "pollution followed by treatment and destruction coupled with treatment". Depending on scientific and technological progress, we will take such measures as developing circular economy, advocating ecological civilization, enhancing the rule of law in environmental field, improving supervision and management mechanism, establishing a long-term mechanism, building a resource-saving and environment-friendly society. We will strive for the objective that people have access to clean water, fresh air and safe food and live and work in a good environment.
6. Basic Principles
—Aiming at balanced development, mutual benefits and win-win situation. We should properly deal with the relationship between environmental protection and economic growth and social progress, preserve the environment in the course of development and promote development through environmental protection, and insist on economized, safe and clean development so as to achieve the sustained and scientific development.
—Reinforcing the rule of law and carrying forward the comprehensive treatment. We should adhere to the principle of administration by law, constantly improve environmental laws and regulations and exercise environmental laws rigorously. We should persist in conducting integrated policy-making and scientific planning on environmental protection and development and highlighting the principle of precaution first, control pollution and ecological damages at the sources, and address environmental issues with a combination of legal, economic, technical and, administrative instruments if necessary.
—Avoiding new debts and paying off more old debts. We should stringently control the total amount of pollutant discharge. All new projects, rebuilt and expanded construction projects should be in compliance with environmental requirements, pursuing increased productivity without causing more pollution and trying the best to reduce pollution despite the increase of outputs. We should proactively address environmental issues left by history.
—Relying on science and technology and innovating relevant mechanisms. We should energetically develop environmental science and technology, and tackle environmental issues through technical innovations. We should establish an investment mechanism involving a diversity of major investors, including government, enterprises and social sectors as well as a mechanism for commercialized operation of some pollution treatment facilities. We should improve environmental protection systems and perfect a unified, coordinated and effective environmental regulation system.
—Giving assorted guidance and highlighting the priority. In accordance with local conditions, we should develop plans matched to different areas, and make overall planning for both urban and rural development. We will, on a stage-based manner, resolve environmental issues that constrain economic growth and arouse strong responses from the public, and improve the environmental quality in major watersheds, regions, sea areas and cities.
7. Environmental Objectives
By the year 2010, major areas and cities will have their environmental quality be improved, and the deteriorating trends of ecological environment will be essentially kept under control. Total discharge amounts of major pollutants will be controlled effectively; the pollutant discharge intensity of key industries will drop sharply; ambient air quality in major cities, water quality of centralized drinking water sources in urban areas, water quality of rural areas, surface water quality across the country and water quality of offshore sea areas will turn out to be better; the degradation trends of grassland will be urged to some extent; the area being treated for water erosion and ecological restoration will be somewhat increased; the environment in mining areas will witness remarkable improvement; overexploitation and pollution of underground water will slow down; the eco-function of major eco-function protection areas and nature reserves will be basically stable; village and township environmental quality will experience some improvement and nuclear and radioactive environmental safety will be guaranteed. By the year 2020, both environmental quality and ecological conditions will have improved considerably.
III. The Need to Coordinate Socio-Economic Growth with Environmental Protection
8. Promoting Balanced Development of Regional Economy and the Environment
All regions should, in accordance with their resource endowments, environmental capacity, ecological conditions, population, national planning for development and industrial policies, identify their respective intended functions and development trends, and integrate regional economic planning with the objectives of environmental protection. In economically developed regions where there are limited environmental capacity and insufficient supply of natural resources, we should take environmental protection as the first priority, vigorously develop high and new technologies, optimize industrial structure and accelerate the upgrading of industries and products, while take the lead in achieving the reduction of total amount of pollutant discharge and mitigate pollution despite increased productivity. We should make the regions that have certain environmental capacity, relatively abundant resources and great potential for development the major targets for development, accelerate the infrastructure construction, make use of the bearing capacity of the environment in a scientific and rational way, press ahead with industrialization and urbanization, and at the same time rigorously control the total amount of pollutant discharge, enabling increased productivity without causing more pollution. We should restrict the development of regions with fragile ecological environment and major eco-function protection areas. On the premise of taking environmental protection as the first priority, we should rationally adopt a way forward for development, develop competitive industries with distinctive characteristics, ensure the restoration and maintenance of ecological functions and gradually resume the ecological balance. Development activities should be strictly prohibited in nature reserves and regions that deserve special preservation. We should protect those areas by law and ban any development activities that are not in compliance with relevant requirements. We should do a good job in eco-function zoning, identify the leading function for each zone and shape a distinctive development pattern. We should implement environmental impact assessment (EIA) system for various development and construction plans in accordance with national standards. For policies that impose great impact on the environment, we should carry out EIA demonstrations.
9. Vigorously Developing Circular Economy
All regions and departments should, through taking circular economy as the essential guideline for a variety of plans on development, formulate and implement the plans to promote circular economy, accelerate the development of policies on promoting and developing circular economy as well as relevant standards and assessment systems, enhance technical development, and intensify innovative system. We should, in precepts of "reduce, reuse and recycle" and corresponding to the needs of ecological environment, design and transform products and industrial areas, and promote the development of circular economy. In the process of production, we should exercise strict control on access to discharge intensity, encourage energy conservation and reducing energy consumption, carry out cleaner production and impose compulsory examination by law. In the process of waste generation, we should exert more efforts in pollution prevention and whole-process control, implement the system of extended producer responsibility, appropriately prolong industrial links and intensify the recycling of various wastes. In the consumption process, we should proactively advocate environmental friendly consumption pattern, implement environmental labeling system, environmental certification system and green government procurement system, and improve the recycling and reuse system of renewable energy. We should substantively promote energy conservation in construction sector and develop green buildings. We should press ahead with sewage water recycling, garbage treatment and recycling as resources, and build water-saving cities. We should also carry forward with the activities to build eco-provinces (cities, counties), environmental protection model cities, environmental friendly enterprises, green communities and green schools.
10. Actively Develop Environmental Industry
We should accelerate the process to build a localized, standardized and modern industrial system in environmental sector through intensified policy supports and market regulation, and in accordance with the rules of market economy, break through local and industrial protectionism, foster fair competition, and encourage social sectors to invest in environmental industrial development. We should highlight the development of major technical equipments and essential facilities for environmental protection that has independent intellectual property rights, and basing ourselves on independent research and development, strive to grasp core technologies on environmental protection through introduction from overseas, assimilation and adoption. We should energetically enhance the independent innovation capacity of environmental equipments manufacturing enterprises, and press ahead with independent manufactures of major technical equipments in environmental sector. We should foster a series of environmental enterprises that own famous brands, strong core technical power, high market share and more job opportunities. We should accelerate the development of environmental service sector, promote the commercialization of environmental consultancy, and bring full play to the role of industrial associations as intermediary agencies.
IV. Earnestly Addressing Pre-eminent Environmental Issues
11. Emphasizing Drinking Water Safety and Treatment of Major Watersheds, Enhancing the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution
We should define and adjust drinking water sources conservation areas in a scientific way, earnestly enhance the conservation of drinking water sources, do well in building alternative water sources and properly address the problem of drinking water safety in rural areas. We should ensure the drinking water safety of the public by resolutely banning the existence of direct emissions outlets in water sources conservation areas, prohibiting toxic and hazardous substances from entering into those areas, and intensifying the prevention and control of water pollution accidents as well as the emergency responses. We should take the following watersheds as the first priority for water pollution treatment, including the Huaihe River, Haihe River, Liaohe River, Songhua River, the upper reaches of the Three Gorges Reservoir and the Reservoir area, the upper reaches of Xiaolangdi Reservoir in Yellow River and the Reservoir area, the water sources of South-to-North Water Diversion Project and its three routes, Taihu Lake, Dianchi Lake and Chaohu Lake. We should lay the emphasis of marine environmental protection on the Bohai Sea and other major sea areas and river mouths, and strictly prohibit the discharge of industrial effluents beyond the discharge standards and directly into rivers, lakes and seas.
12. Enhancing Urban Environmental Protection with the Focus on Intensified Efforts on Pollution Prevention and Control
We should enhance urban infrastructure construction. By the year 2010, no less than 70% of sewage water in urban areas nationwide will be treated, and 60% and more of the domestic garbage will undergo environmental friendly treatment. We should exert ourselves to address particulate pollution, noise pollution and pollution caused by catering industry, and encourage the development of energy efficient and environmental friendly cars. We should conduct risk assessment of the soils in the sites of polluting enterprises after it was relocated and restore those sites. Cities should pay attention to the natural and ecological conditions during construction process, and try best to reserve natural forests and grasslands, river and lake systems, shoals and wetlands, natural topographic features, wildlife and other natural relics, striving to maintain ecological balance in urban areas.
13. Promoting the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution by Highlighting the Reduction of Total Amount of SO2 Emissions
We should accelerate coal washing and selecting and reduce the sulfur contents of commercial coals. We should intensify the treatment of SO2 emissions in coal-burning power plants. Except for coal mine mouth power plants burning coals with extremely low sulfur contents, all new and expanded coal-burning power plants should be equipped with desulfurization facilities or adopt other measures to cut down on SO2 emissions during the construction process. In large and medium-sized cities and their near suburbs, we should rigorously control the construction or expansion of coal-burning power plants except for the purpose of co-generating heat and power, and prohibit the construction or expansion of steel and iron plants and metallurgical enterprises with high energy consumption. The coal-burning power plants that were put into operation before the end of 2004 and that emitted SO2 beyond the standards should be equipped with desulfurization facilities by the end of 2010. We should, corresponding to the environmental conditions, identify the desulfurization targets matched to different areas, and develop and implement the plans for prevention and control of acid rain and SO2 pollution. We should transform within a limited period, close down or suspend the operation of power plants that were put into operation more than two decades ago or with an installed capacity below 100,000 kw. We should work out plans for treating nitrogen oxides in coal-burning power plants and conduct pilot projects in this respect. We should intensify the treatment of soot and dust, adopt energy-efficient measures, and improve energy efficiency. We should proactively develop wind power, solar power, geothermal power, biomass and other new energy sources, actively develop nuclear power, exploit water energy in an orderly way, increase the proportion of cleaner energy and mitigate the emissions of air pollutants.
14. Taking the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution as the First Priority, and Strengthening Rural Environmental Protection
We should, integrated with the efforts to build a new socialist countryside, implement the action plan on environmental protection of rural Xiaokang society. We will unfold surveys on soil pollution conditions nationwide and comprehensively treat farmlands over contaminated by pollutants, and adjust farmlands severely polluted and irreversible for restoration by law. We should rationally apply pesticides and fertilizers, prevent and control the pollution caused by agro-use plastic films, energetically develop water-efficient agriculture and eco-agriculture, and exert more efforts in pollution treatment of scaled breeding industry. We should address the dirty, disorderly and bad environment in rural areas and create environmental beautifully towns and villages and civilized eco-villages, by pressing ahead to improve drinking water quality in rural areas and to transform toilets of rural households, doing a good job in utilizing crop stalks as resources, vigorously developing methane gas in rural areas, and properly disposing domestic garbage and sewage water. We should choose distinctive industries that are corresponding to the local resource advantages and environmental capacity in the course of developing county-level economy, so as to prevent pollution from transferring to rural areas.
15. Intensifying Ecological Conservation with the Emphasis on Promoting the Harmony between Human and Nature
We should pay equal attention to ecological conservation and treatment, and lay the emphasis on controlling irrational resources development activities. We should give priority to preserving natural vegetation, and give due regard to the natural restoration in accordance with local conditions. We should continue with the ecological restoration projects, such as preservation of virgin forests, revegetation of natural grasslands, returning arable lands to forests, returning pasture to grasslands, returning farmlands to lakes, combating desertification, soil and water conservation, and combating rocky desertification. We should rigorously control soil degradation and grassland desertification. We should promote socio-economic growth corresponding to water resources conditions, make overall planning of water resources for living, production and ecological purposes, and build a water-saving society. We should develop such economy as preventive of disasters and corresponding to disaster relief, and give due considerations to water resources for ecological purposes during the exploitation and utilization of water resources. We should enhance the construction and management of eco-function conservation areas and nature reserves, and intensify the environmental regulation of mineral resources and tourism industry. We will do a good job in preserving mangroves, offshore wetlands, coral reefs, islands and other marine or offshore typical ecological systems.
16. Taking the Regulation of Nuclear Facilities and Radioactive Sources as the First Priority and Ensuring Nuclear and Radioactive Environmental Safety
We should enhance nuclear safety and radioactive environmental management in an all round-way. The State should exercise unified control over the environmental protection of nuclear facilities. We should take into full consideration the issues related to nuclear safety, environmental safety and waste disposal while developing the plans on nuclear power and building nuclear power plants. We should strengthen the regulation of nuclear facilities both under construction and in service, and accelerate the retirement of nuclear facilities and disposal of radioactive wastes. We should enhance the environmental supervision and management of electromagnetic radiation and the development of associate radioactive mineral resources, and improve the system for safe regulation of radioactive sources.
17. Pressing Ahead to Solve Prominent Environmental Issues at Current Stage with the Focus on the Implementation of National Key Projects on Environmental Protection
National key projects on environmental protection are the foremost move towards the settlement of environmental issues. Starting from the eleventh Five-Year Plan, we will incorporate national key projects on environmental protection into the national plans on social and economic development as well as relevant special plans, and implement them seriously. Among the national key projects on environmental protection are hazardous wastes disposal project, urban sewage water treatment project, project on environmental friendly treatment of garbage, desulfurization projects in coal-burning power plants, projects on building key eco-function conservation areas and nature reserves, environmental protection action for a rural Xiaokang society, project on nuclear and radioactive environmental safety, and project on capacity building of environmental management.
V. Establishing and Perfecting Enduring Effect Mechanisms for Environmental Protection
18. Perfecting Environmental Laws and Regulations and Standard System
The drafting of laws and regulations should be accelerated to facilitate the revision of Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China. These laws and regulations cover such fields as soil pollution, chemical pollution, ecological conservation, genetics resources, biosafety, protection of ozone layer, nuclear safety, circular economy, compensation on environmental damage and environmental monitoring. Environmental laws and regulations will be improved through careful review of environmental legislation and law enforcement with provisions made to impose more severe punishment to illegal conduct in order to address the issue that violation of laws costs much less than compliance. Improve technical specification and standard system for environmental protection by identifying environmental baselines scientifically so as to form a strong link between these standards and the target of environmental protection.
19. Strictly Enforcing Environmental Laws and Regulations
Enhance the awareness of administration by law and intensify law enforcement. Efforts will be focused on investigation of some illegal conducts and making punishment on these violators including non-compliance of environmental impact assessment law, violation of "three synchronizations" system (design, construction and operation of environmental protection facilities should proceed simultaneously with the main body of the construction project), abnormal operation of pollution control facilities, excessive discharge of pollutants, non-compliance of regulations on pollution discharge permit, big environmental pollution accidents, conducting development or mining activities or operation of tourism illegally within nature reserves leading to ecological damages. We shall intensify environmental monitoring and supervision in all kinds of industrial development areas. Those fail to meet environmental requirements shall be rectified within a set time limit. Related departments should enhance cooperation and coordination to perfect the mechanism of joint law enforcement. Environmental law enforcement should be standardized by resorting to accountability systems and stepping up administrative supervision. Legal aid to victims of pollution should be perfected. Establishment of the system for environmental civil action and public prosecution against administration is under consideration.
20. Improving Environmental Management System
Improved coordination of environmental supervision is to be achieved by gradually sorting out the division of responsibilities between different departments according to the management approach of regional eco system. Improving environmental supervision system whereof the state authority inspects, local department supervises and individual enterprises are held responsible. The state will give more guidance to and support of local efforts in environmental protection and intensify the supervision on their performance. Regional environmental supervision branches will be improved to coordinate trans-provincial actions on environmental protection and push for inspection of looming environmental issues. People's governments at local level are responsible for environmental quality within its jurisdiction. They are also in charge of supervising the work of the subordinates and environmental conduct of key enterprises and developing relevant environmental supervision mechanism. Corporations and other organizations should solve related environmental problems within their jurisdiction. Environmental supervisor system for enterprises will be established, which is subject to the vocation qualification certification. People's government above county level should pay more attention to environmental protection departments, clarifying their functions and responsibilities and having staffing and funds in place. The pattern of supervision branch of cities affiliating districts should be further explored to improve local environmental management system. Environmental departments at all levels should strictly carry out the supervision system, ordering enterprises causing heavy pollution to reform within a set time limit or suspend production for rectification. These departments are also responsible for organizing experts and representatives from related areas to put forward their suggestions and ideas on environmental impact assessment on development planning. Delivery of environmental criminal cases should be perfected to facilitate the handling of various environmental cases by judicial departments.
21. Reinforcing Environmental Supervision System
Implement the system of total discharge control of pollutant. The total discharge amount (top cap) indicator can be disintegrated into quotas for people's government at all levels and ultimately allocated to polluting enterprises. Permit system of pollutant discharge should be promoted to prohibit pollution discharge without permits or exceeding total amount. Efforts are needed to rigorously enforce environmental impact assessment system and three synchronizations system. Examination of construction projects adding to top cap or having big influence on ecology will be suspended in areas where top cap is exceeded, ecology seriously damaged or eco rehabilitation not fully accomplished. Construction projects starting up or put into operation without going through environmental impact assessment procedures will be suspended to complete the formalities and person in charge will be held responsible. Thorough examination and post-review will be conducted to ecological treatment engineering. Perfection of compulsory phasing-out system of polluting enterprises should be combined with economic restructuring. Prompt definition and adjustment should be made with regard to enterprises to be phased out, backward production capacity, techniques, equipment and product catalogue. Mandatory pollution control within a given time period will be stepped up for enterprises fail to meet standard on a regular basis or exceed top cap. During this given time limit, production and discharge of pollution shall be restricted to certain extent and construction of projects leading to higher top cap is not allowed. Those fail to meet the requirement within the given period of time will be ordered to halt production for reform or streamlining. Perfect environmental supervision system and intensify on-the-spot law enforcement. Emergency plan for environmental accidents should be carried out strictly. People's government at all levels shall be responsible for overall handling of emergency response according to related provisions. SPEA and other departments concerned under the State Council will give support in light of the circumstances. Water quality examination system for sections of trans-provincial rivers is to be established and the provincial government should guarantee the water quality of efflux is up to standard. The state has strengthened coordination of enforcement of environmental laws and settlement of pollution disputes. If the pollution discharged by the upstream provinces caused pollution accidents in the lower reaches, the provincial people's government in the upper reaches shall be liable for compensation. Troublemaker will be held accountable according to law. SEPA and departments concerned are in charge of drafting the rules of compensation.
22. Improving the Mechanism for the Investment in Environmental Protection
It is an important responsibility for government at all levels to build a sound eco environment. Therefore, governments should make investment in environmental protection a key segment of expenditure and increase the proportion year on year. More investment will be made in pollution control, conservation of ecology, pilot projects of environmental protection and capacity building in environmental supervision. Currently, most of the government investment is used to improve sewage pipes and facilities for collecting and transporting domestic refuse. The state government will continue to support this effort through investment. People's government at all levels should strictly implement the state's provision on staffing and payment with a view to ensure that expenditures are in place for various tasks including environmental protection administration, supervision, monitoring, information and education and communications. Efforts are needed to channel social funds to environmental investment in infrastructures and other related activities in cities and towns, perfecting diversified financing mechanism linking the government, enterprises and the society.
23. Promoting Economic Policies Conducive to Environmental Protection
Policies and relevant systems should be established and improved to promote environmental protection, such as pricing, taxation, credit, trade, land and government procurement. Government should take the scarcity of resources and cost of environment into consideration during pricing. Market-based prices should also be guided and supervised with an orientation to environmental protection. Power plants making use of renewable energy and combustion of refuse should be granted favorable electricity price and the government will purchase all the power generated by renewable energy projects. Enterprises fail to comply with national industrial policies or meet environmental standards will be denied land use right, credit and industrial and commercial registration or even be banned according to law. Preferential taxes will be granted to donations for environmental protection through non-profit organizations within China and state departments. We will improve eco compensation policy by establishing the compensation mechanism as soon as possible. Eco compensation should be taken into account for transfer payment by government at central or local level. Pilot projects on eco compensation can be launched at the national and local level. And benefit sharing mechanism for genetic resources should be established.
24. Using Market Mechanism to Promote Pollution Control
The charging system for urban sewage and domestic refuse will be carried out comprehensively. Appropriate charging standard should be devised to ensure return of cost and slight profit. Where the system is not fully implemented, local government should provide subsidy to cover operation cost. Social funds are encouraged to involve in the construction and operation of sewage and refuse treatment facilities. Urban sewage treatment plants and refuse disposal plants should accelerate their pace of system transformation into enterprises. These plants can select the best investors and operators through advertised bidding and adopt franchise system for operation. Supervision will also be strengthened. Supportive policies and preferential taxes will be given to construction and operation of pollution control facilities including land use, electricity and equipment depreciation. Producers should collect and dispose abandoned products or on commission according to law. The producers shall bear the cost. Integration of design, construction and operation of pollution control facilities should be promoted. Polluting enterprises are encouraged to entrust professional companies with pollution control or operation of related facilities. If conditions permit, trading of pollution rights such as SO2 can be practiced in some areas or among enterprises.
25. Promoting the Development of Environmental Science and Technology
Science and technology input for the purpose of environmental protection will be given a more important role. Key projects and research in this field will be prioritized in the national plan of science and technology. Research will be made in strategy for environmental protection, environmental standard and environment and health. Pollution control should be promoted including pollution of water body, air, soil, noise, solid wastes and agricultural non-point pollution. Conduct research in conservation of ecology, reuse of resources, drinking water safety and nuclear safety. Departments concerned should organize experts to solve the following tough problems. For example, further treatment of sewage, sulphur and nitrogen removal in coal-fired power plants, clean coal and purification of car emissions. Speed up the application of high-tech in the field of environmental protection. Technology demonstration and promotion of achievements should be stimulated to build up the ability of independent innovation.
26. Consolidating the Building Up of the Work Team and its Capacity in the Environmental Protection Field
The environmental inspection, monitoring and emergency responding system must be improved; the management of environmental protection work staff must be standardized with intensified training and elevated qualification so as to establish a environmental protection work team featuring lofty spirit, upright working style, professionalism and capable of doing management works. Governments at all levels should select officials of great political consciousness and high level of qualification to fuel the working force of the environmental protection departments. The appointment and removal of subordinate environmental protection departments should follow the principle of first soliciting the opinions from their superiors. The issue of including environmental law enforcement working staff in the range of public servants should be addressed in line with the general considerations and relevant requirements on the reform of governmental departments as well as their affiliating institutions. The environmental monitoring network must be amplified with the establishment of the "Jinhuan Program" and the realization of "digital environmental protection" amid the efforts of speeding up the construction of the information system on environmental and nuclear safety and the information and resource sharing mechanism. The surveillance system on environmental emergency responding and the pre-warning system on major environmental contingencies should also be set up.
27. Strengthening Social Supervision System
The environmental quality report system should be implemented to publicize the environmental protection indicators of various provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and to release various environmental information such as urban air quality, urban noise level, water quality of drinking water sources, water quality of river basins, water quality of offshore areas and ecological status assessment on a regular basis as well as the prompt release of pollution accident information to create conditions for public participation. The name list of cities failing to meet relevant environmental protection standard should also be publicized, and the investment environmental risk pre-warning mechanism must be enforced. The function of civil societies should be full exerted to encourage the reporting and disclosure of all types of environmental law-breaking activities so as to promote the lodging of lawsuit in environmental public interest. Enterprises should also make their environmental information open to the public. The development of planning and construction projects relating to public environmental rights and interests should go through the procedures of public hearing, demonstration meeting or public notification to listen to the opinions of the people and to intensify social supervision.
28. Enhancing International Environmental Cooperation and Exchanges
We should actively introduce foreign investment, advanced environmental protection technology and management experience to elevate the technological, equipment and management level of Chinese environmental protection circle. We should also energetically spread the achievements and measures China has made in the field of environmental protection, participate in the negotiation process of multiple international conventions as well as relating trade and environmental ones concerning climate change, biodiversity protection, desertification prevention and control, wetland protection, ozone layer conservation, control of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and nuclear safety, implement our due international responsibility and safeguard national environmental and development rights and interests. We should spare no efforts in the containment of green house gases and speed up the elimination process of ozone depleting substances (ODS). We must refine the environmental standard on export-oriented trade products, set up environmental risk assessment mechanism and the harmful substance monitoring system for imported goods with the view of rationally introducing usable renewable resources and species resources on the one hand and rigorously guard the pollution transfer, illegal waste import, invasion of harmful alien species and the loss of genetic resources.
VI. Intensifying the Leadership on Environmental Protection Work
29. Practicing the Leadership Accountability System on Environmental Protection
Governments at all levels should unify their mindset under the guidance of scientific concept on development by fully understanding the fact that protecting the environment equals to the protecting of productivity and improving the environment just equals to the developing of productivity, raise their awareness of unexpected environmental development and of their responsibility of environmental protection works, focus their attention on the hard problems constraining the progress of environmental protection work and key problems affecting the health of the people and stick to these problems until they are totally resolved. Principal officials of local governments and relevant departments are the No. 1 responsible people for environmental protection work within their administrative territory or their system, and one senior officials of local governments and each department would be designated to take charge of environmental protection work to ensure all the necessary environmental awareness, responsibility, measures and input would be in place. Local governments should also listen to relevant reports regularly, study and allocate environmental protection tasks, draft and arrange the implementation of environmental protection plans, review the implementation status and promptly solve emerging problems to secure the realization of environmental targets. Governments at all levels should also report or notify their work on environmental protection to the local NPC and CPPCC of the same level and receive their supervision.
30. Evaluating Development and Environmental Protection Achievements in a Scientific Way
We should research the method for green GDP accounting and gradually integrate the resource consumption, environmental loss and environmental profits during the development process into the assessment system of economic development. We should also include environmental protection as a major component in the performance checkup for management group, officials and cadres and use the checkup result as an important standard for their promotion and appointment as well as reward and punishment. We must adhere to and improve the environmental target responsibility system of governments at all levels, perform annual objective management for major tasks and indicators on environmental protection, carry out the checkup on a regular basis and make the result open to the public. The system of "one environmental veto vote accounts" system should be adopted in the election of advanced individual and groups, and organizations and individuals with outstanding environmental protection achievements should be cited and rewarded. The accountability system should be set up to practically address the problems of interference of local protectionism in environmental law enforcement, and officials and public servants shall be hold responsible for major errors in decision making causing great environmental accidents or greatly interrupting regular environmental law enforcement works.
31. Carrying Out In-depth Communication and Education Activities on Environmental Protection
Environmental protection is the undertaking of the entire Chinese nation, and environmental communication and education is a vital approach in fulfilling the national will on environmental protection. We should energize the communication of environmental protection basic national policies and environmental laws and regulations, carry forward environmental culture, advocate ecological civilization, promote social equity through environmental compensation, advance social harmony through ecological balance and enrich spiritual civilization through environmental culture. The mass media should forcefully popularize the innate requirements set forth by the scientific concept on development on environmental protection, put environmental protection public campaign high on the word agenda, broadcast environmental protection policies and measures formulated by the central government and the CPC timely, spread latest advancement and experience in this field and take great efforts in fostering the public atmosphere favoring resource saving and environmental protection. Official training organizations at all levels should strengthen the environmental protection trainings to officials and cadres and heads of major enterprises. We should also beef up the cultivation of environmental protection professionals, augment environmental education to youth and children, launch nationwide popular science education campaigns on environmental protection and raise the consciousness of the whole society on environmental protection.
32. Perfecting Environmental Protection Coordination Mechanism
We should establish the comprehensive decision-making mechanism on environmental protection, build up the environmental protection coordination mechanism with unified supervision and management of environmental protection departments and work and responsibility division of relevant departments and give full play to the role of National Inter-ministerial Joint Meeting on Environmental Protection as well. The administrative competent environmental protection department under the State Council is the major law enforcement body of environmental protection, and it should strengthen the national environmental monitoring network, standardize the release of environmental information together with other related departments, expedite the compilation of national ecological function zoning and submit it to the State Council for approval. Comprehensive economic management department and other relevant competent departments should develop fiscal, tax revenue, financial, price, trade and science and technology policies conducive to environmental protection, and the departments in charge of construction, land and resources, water resources, agriculture, forestry and ocean should also properly handle the environmental protection and resource management work in their responsible field according to the law. Relevant communication and education department should actively unfold environmental protection campaign and education activities to popularize environmental protection knowledge. The important role of PLA in the realm of environmental protection should also be fully exerted.
Local governments of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and all relevant departments under the State Council should map out measures and instruct the implementation in light of the spirit embodied in this Decision. The State Environmental Protection Administration should supervise and inspect the implementation situation of this Decision together with the Ministry of Supervision and report the results to the State Council on an annual basis.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)