During its 18th National Congress in November 2013, the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced that China will be set up to become a “beautiful country”, realizing sustainable development of the nation while endeavouring to achieve industrialization and modernization. As part of the goal to develop such a sustainable economy in China, in March 2014, Premier Li Keqiang announced a war against pollution.
The pressure on the Chinese government to act is significant. Ever since January 2013 when more than half of the 74 focal measuring stations in major Chinese cities raised alarm and the air was officially classified as heavily polluted, the public has demanded greater transparency and efforts from the government in combating air pollution.
The Chinese government has reacted in a consequent manner to the air pollution in Beijing and the surrounding areas. In September 2013 the State Council published the National Action Plan on Air Pollution Control (Ten measures), setting the road map for air pollution control for the next five years with a focus on three key regions – Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.
Sino-German Environmental Partnership
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) the Sino-German Environmental Partnership project advises the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) on topics of air pollution prevention and control and integrated permitting.
The objectives are as follows:
- MEE: Support the Department of Total Pollutants Control of MEE with the elaboration of a regulatory framework for environmental protection in industrial installations with the help of an integrated permitting system. The measures/ activities to achieve the objective are, inter alia, the provision of European and German expertise during study tours, workshops, trainings and expert discussions.
- CCICED: Help to improve the implementation effectiveness of the National Action Plan on Air Pollution Control; study and propose air pollution prevention and control targets, roadmap and strategic measures that can be adopted in the mid-term 13th FYP and 2030 long-term planning.