Is $27 Billion Dollars Enough To Clean Up China?
The Chinese government will invest 1.35 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) each year for the next three years in environmental protection, or 200 billion RMB (US$27 billion), the State Council announced Monday.
As we have reported somewhat breathlessly before, China is already spending billions on eco clean-up. In October, the State Council announced it would pay RMB 100 billion, or $14 billion, on cleaning up Lake Tai. In fact, separate from the Lake Tai clean-up, the government already spends roughly 200 billion on environmental cleaning each year.
The results, however, have not been promising. For instance, while China spent 238.8 billion yuan on environmental protection in 2005, accounting for 1.31 percent of that year's GDP, SO2 emissions that year increased by 27.8 percent over 2000 instead of dropping. Meanwhile, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), a water pollution index, fell 2.1 percent from 2000 rather than the 10 percent target. The country also issued a five-year environment plan for 2001-05, but the targets were not met.