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China gets cleaner amid decade-long push for green development

Updated: Jun 10,2020 05:12 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China saw a significant improvement in its ecological environment amid anti-pollution efforts and a push for green growth, an official said on June 10.

Major pollutant discharge recorded a drastic drop, with the overall emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides and the demand for chemical oxygen in 2017 plunging by 72 percent, 34 percent and 46 percent, respectively, compared with the readings from 2007, said Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of ecology and environment, citing data from the communique of the second national survey on sources of pollution.

From 2007 to 2017, the country's production output expanded, while pollution emissions shrank drastically, pointing to a higher economic quality, according to Zhao.

During the period, among key pollution-intensive sectors, the paper-making sector saw its chemical oxygen demand sink by 84 percent, while the iron and steel and cement industries reported a 54 percent decrease in emissions of sulfur dioxide and a 23 percent decrease in emissions of nitrogen oxides, respectively.

Zhao added that pollution treatment capacity and urban infrastructure construction are also improving.

Compared to 2007, the number of urban sewage disposal facilities grew 5.4 times in 2017, with the disposal capacity increasing 1.7 times, and the actual sewage disposal amount rising 2.1 times.

In the meantime, the number of hazardous waste disposal facilities surged 8.22 times, with the disposal capacity increasing by 42.79 million tons per year, data showed.

China carried out the second national survey on sources of pollution from 2017 to 2019 as part of its efforts to get a clear picture of pollutant sources in its effort to promote green development.

The second national survey conducted a comprehensive investigation of over 3.58 million enterprises and private businesses nationwide to obtain pollutant discharge levels and collect information on various pollution sources.