OECD Says China Must Step Up Environmental Dfforts

China's growth has been accompanied by deteriorating environmental conditions in the air, water, rivers and soil.

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Nov. 9 China was not doing enough to protect the environment amid the challenges generated by its rapid economic development. "While recognizing the serious engagements of the Chinese government... these efforts have not been sufficient to keep pace with the environmental pressures and challenges generated by the very rapid growth of China's economy," said OECD deputy secretary general Kiyotaka Akasaka.

He said China's impressive economic growth during the past 15 years had been accompanied by deteriorating environmental conditions in the air, water, rivers and soil.

Among the top recommendations given by the OECD was the need to make local leaders more accountable for their environmental performance, the use of market mechanisms to achieve environmental goals and the increase of sources of environmental finance.

The OECD also recommended upgrading the status of China's environmental agency, State Environmental Protection Administration, to a ministry to strengthen its supervisory power over other government authorities.

"We must indeed question the effectiveness of our efforts," Pan Yue, deputy director of the state environmental agency said.Pan, who admitted many state environmental targets have still not been met after more than a decade of planning, described the OECD proposals as "constructive" and called for more international cooperation.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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