China announces aggressive 5 year environment plan

Hit by severe urban air pollution and a range of negative environmental reports, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China has recently made several announcements regarding the 12th Five-Year National Plan for Environmental Protection, a plan which covers the period to the end of 2015. The total environmental investments expected under the plan total about 3.4 trillion yuan ($558 billion CDN), about 1.4% of GDP over the same period.

The Plan covers almost all aspects of environmental protection, including:

  • significant reduction of total discharge of major pollutants;
  • environmental safety of drinking water source areas and water quality;
  • control of heavy metal pollution;
  • control of pollution by POPs, hazardous chemicals and waste;
  • improvement of construction and operation of urban environmental infrastructure; and
  • enhancement of capacity in supervision of nuclear and radiation safety.

Progress under the Plan will be measured through improvements to environmental indicators and through comprehensive assessments at the mid-point and end of the plan.

Further details, in English, are available at and at

Summary details of each of the 85 initiatives, including assignment of governmental responsibilities and the industry sectors targetted, are at

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