Investment in environmental conservation to increase
Updated: March 10, 2022 08:56 China Daily

China plans to roll out a series of measures to promote the development of the environmental protection industry as it endeavors to see continued environmental improvement and to sustain economic growth.

The country will greatly increase its investment in environmental conservation this year, according to draft central and local budgets for 2022 submitted to the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress for review on March 5.

In a move to encourage greater local efforts in ecological conservation, for example, the central government will allocate roughly 99.2 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) in transfer payments to zones with key functions for ecosystem operation, up 12 percent year-on-year.

With an even greater increase of 42.9 percent, the special funds for ecological protection, restoration and improvement in key areas will reach 17 billion yuan, it said.

The draft document also vowed preferential tax policies to encourage market entities to take part in the country's pollution prevention and control efforts.

It said a reduced corporate income tax rate of 15 percent will be temporarily applied to third-party enterprises engaged in such efforts, which is 10 percentage points less than the usual rate in the country.

While delivering the annual Government Work Report at the opening of the NPC session in Beijing on March 5, Premier Li Keqiang also vowed to beef up support for the environmental protection sector.

"We will improve policies to support environmental protection industries in conserving water and energy, and recycling waste and used materials," he said.

Premier Li said China will improve policy incentives for reducing pollution and carbon emissions and strengthen policy constraints on such emissions.

The environmental protection industry is expected to keep booming with robust growth during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, according to a report last year from the China Association of Environmental Protection Industry.

In 2020, total proceeds of the industry were estimated at about 1.95 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 7.3 percent, the report said. They are expected to surpass 3 trillion yuan by 2025.

Eyeing the potential of the industry in boosting economic development, Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu has previously vowed efforts from his ministry to promote the sector's development.

"The ministry will make environmental protection investment play its role in driving economic development by comprehensively promoting clean production and proactively cultivating environmental protection industries to boost their development," he said at the ministry's annual work conference in January.

Wang Gang, an NPC deputy from Gansu province, said he believes the country's environmental protection industry will continue to boom as central authorities attach a high degree of importance to ecological civilization.

Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that features harmonious coexistence of man and nature.

As the country's economy continues to grow, people will have increasingly higher expectations for a better environment. There will be more business opportunities for the industry as the government strives to meet those expectations, said Wang, chairman of Gansu Langqian Environmental Science Research.

According to the draft plan for national economic and social development, which was also submitted to the ongoing NPC session for review on March 5, China will also strive to boost recycling this year.

The country will move ahead with the establishment of a recycling system for waste and used materials and with the pilot program for large-scale adoption of recyclable delivery packaging, it said.

China will build demonstration bases for the comprehensive utilization of massive solid waste and foster leading enterprises in this field, it said.

It said further progress will be made in the sorted utilization and centralized disposal of scrap iron, steel, nonferrous metals, junk cars, used household appliances, plastic waste, kitchen scraps and other urban waste.

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