China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pollutants will be phased out

Xinhuanews Via
CHINA will spend at least 34 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion) to phase out persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in 10 years, an environmental official said yesterday in Beijing.

"This is only a preliminary calculation and does not include the funds needed to treat places contaminated by these pollutants," said Zhuang Guotai, deputy director of the office for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention under the State Environmental Protection Administration.

He said the funds needed to treat the polluted areas "could be huge." It's difficult to estimate as there is still insufficient information about the areas contaminated and how seriously they have been affected.

POPs are among the most dangerous pollutants released into the environment by human activity. They are linked with cancers, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders and immune system problems.

The government has drafted a plan to phase out the world's most toxic chemicals as required by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, he said.

DDT production

According to the plan, China will stop the production and use of chlordane, mirex and DDT by 2010. Electronic appliances with POPs will also be safely disposed of by 2015.

By 2015, China will also stop the production and use of these pollutants in pesticides. The plan will be submitted to the State Council for approval next month.

Under the convention, China will have to submit its national implementation plan to the convention's secretariat by November 11.

China signed the Stockholm Convention in May 2001. It came into effect in China in November 2004.

Funding to control POPs will come from the central government, local governments and domestic companies as well as international organizations and foreign governments.

The fifth meeting to discuss China's implementation of the convention was held yesterday with more than 100 government officials and representatives from China, Europe, Japan and the United Nations.

"The Stockholm Convention can be successful only if it succeeds in China as the country is very influential in combating POPs," said Zoltan Csizer, an adviser of the UN Industrial Development Organization.


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