China’s fight against chronic pollution is faltering

China’s fight against chronic pollution is faltering in the face of urbanization and rapid growth, though the last five years have seen some progress, the country’s environment ministry said on Saturday.

China was still producing more “traditional pollutants” than it could bear, but new industries were also creating torrents of dangerous chemicals and mountains of electronic waste, said Zhang Lijun, vice-minister of environmental protection.

“We’re still a developing country — the standard of living is still not high, employment trends are serious and each level of government is paying attention to economic growth,” he said.

China’s consumption of coal — the dirtiest of fossil fuels and a major source of acid rain, water pollution and climate change — rose around 1 billion tons in the five years from 2006, and could rise another billion in the next five, he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *