A few days ago the State Council issued the Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (hereinafter referred to as Plan). As an official from MEP explained, the plan is connected with the General Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Pollutant Discharge Reduction for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period issued by the State Council. It further identifies detailed measures and quantified targets for key industries and fields and puts forward clear-cut tasks and requirements on energy conservation and emission reduction for related fields and sectors. This represents the concrete arrangement of China’s pollution reduction work which will provide important guarantee for us to meet the reduction targets of the 12th Five-Year Plan period.
The Plan raises reduction targets attainable using feasible technologies and under feasible economic conditions. The overall targets are as follows: total discharges of COD and SO2 across the country will be capped at 23.48 million tons and 20.86 million tons by 2015, down by 8% respectively compared with 2010 level of 25.52 millions and 22.68 million tons. The reduction capacity for COD and SO2 will increase by 6.01 million tons and 6.54 million tons. Total discharges of NH3 and NOx will be limited to 2.38 million tons and 20.46 million tons nationwide, a drop of 10% respectively compared with 26.44 million tons and 22.74 million tons at 2010 level. The capacity to reduce NH3 and NOx will increase by 690,000 tons and 7.94 million tons. The Plan makes concrete requirement on reduction targets for key industrial sectors, municipal domestic pollution sources and agricultural pollution sources which have fairly heavy tasks on pollution reduction. It is mandated that thermal power industry should reduce SO2 and NOx by 16% and 29% respectively. Cement, paper making and textile printing & dying industries should reduce pollution by over 10% and agricultural sources should define their reduction tasks based on the overall target of reducing COD and NH3 by 8% and 10% respectively. We will increase the municipal sewage treatment rate by 8 percentage points and bring it to 85% by 2015, so that domestic pollution in urban areas will be better managed.
The Plan brings forth 3 major tasks. First, we will further adjust and optimize industrial structure. The bar for new projects in terms of energy conservation and environmental protection will be raised and export of energy-intensive, resource-based or heavily polluting products will be controlled strictly. Total consumption of energy and total pollution discharges will be taken as a major element for energy conservation review and environmental approval so as to have total pollution control on electric power, iron & steel, paper making and printing & dying sectors. Swap of pollution discharges for equivalent or reduced amount will be used among new and extended projects. We will implement the industrial structure adjustment policy seriously and eliminate backward production capacity in the following sectors: small coal-fired units by 20 million kw., iron smelting by 48 million tons, steel smelting by 48 million tons, cement by 370 million tons, coking by 42 million tons and paper making by 15 million tons. Second, we will strengthen pollution control in key areas. We will expand the coverage of municipal domestic sewage treatment facilities, include more industries into pollution reduction program and enhance environmental standards and pollution control requirement. Redoubled efforts will be made to strengthen pollution control from agricultural sources and vehicle emissions. We will push ahead with control of PM2.5. Third, we will strengthen capacity building for pollution control. Effort will be mad to establish monitoring center for pollution sources at county level, enhance supervisory monitoring of pollution sources, improve online monitoring network for regional pollution sources and establish a databank on pollution monitoring results to facilitate information sharing. We will step up accounting and monitoring of NH3 and NOx to improve our capability of monitoring pollution from agricultural sources and vehicles emissions. We will advance standardization of monitoring agencies and capacity building for law enforcement and provide equipment for monitoring agencies at different levels for evidence collection, testing and analysis of pollutants.
The Plan defines key pollution reduction projects in 5 areas. First, we will focus on construction of municipal sewage treatment facilities and supporting pipelines, upgrade and reform of current facilities and construction of sludge treatment and disposal facilities to improve dephosphorization and desulphurization capability. Second, more attention will be paid to pulp & paper making, printing & dying, food processing, agricultural and farm products in order to intensify advanced treatment of water pollution and technical reform. Integrated management of key river basins and urban drinking water source areas will be stressed which will cover the Huaihe River, Haihe River, Liaohe River, Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake and Dianchi Lake, the Songhua River, the Three Gorges Reservoir area and its upper reaches, Danjiangkou Reservoir and its upper reaches and the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River. We will push ahead with control of ground water pollution in contaminated sites, soil and surrounding areas and control of heavy metal pollution in Xiangjiang River. Third, we will continue to operate desulphurization and denitrification projects, including the construction of desulphurization facilities for 50.56 million kW coal-fired units in service, reform of 42.67 million kW coal-fired units which have installed desulphurization facilities but fail to meet the discharge standard steadily and construction of denitrification facilities of 400 million kW coal-fired units in service and reform of 70 million kW coal-fired units with low nitrogen technology. Fourth, we will carry out prevention and control of pollution from agricultural sources. We will encourage unified collection of wastes in large scale breeding farms and communities for centralized pollution control. Fifth, we will control vehicle emissions by speeding up elimination of old cars and promoting environmental label management for vehicles. These pollution reduction projects will result in reduction of 4.2 million tons of COD, 2.77 million tons of SO2, 400,000 tons of NH3 and 3.58 million tons of NOx in the 12th Five-Year Plan period.