China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Experts: China's traffic pollution to worsen

BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Pollution caused by automobile emissions will become worse in China, as the country's vehicle ownership rises, an official report has warned.

    The next 15 years will see a sharp increase in the number of cars to 100 million, which will, together with the low-level industry pollution controls, cause more severe pollution, warns a report released at the fifth session of the third China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development in Beijing.

    The number of vehicles in China has risen by 22 percent every year since the 1980s, to hit 43 million cars and 94 million motorcycles in 2005.

    Another report issued at the conference said China's economy was developing rapidly at the cost of the environment and natural resources.

    "If the current trend continues, China's environment and natural resources will face great problems, such as energy resources security, the coexistence of water shortages and waste, a sharp reduction in biological diversity and diseases caused by environmental pollution in 2020," read the report.

    Unfortunately, a survey conducted by Shanxi Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau showed that Chinese officials' environmental awareness is lower than the public at large.

    It showed 91.95 percent of local officials believe stronger environmental protection will hamper economic development while 93.31 percent of the public said environmental protection and economic development are equally important.

    Experts attributed the problem to China's assessment of official performance, which pays more attention to economic growth than environmental protection.

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