China government ecological work report

Key points related to ecological civilization in Chinese government 2024 work report

Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council at the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress on Tuesday morning, March 5,2024. 

China’s annual “two sessions,” a highly anticipated event on the country’s political calendar, began on Monday. “Two sessions” is the short phrase of the annual sessions of China’s top legislature  — the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) and political advisory body– the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

What did Premier Li Qiang say about ecological civilization construction?
The key points of his comments related to ecological civilization follow:

1. Reviewing the work of 2023, Li said:

“In 2023, the quality of the ecological environment in China remained stable and improved. The battle against pollution continued, with a further reduction in the emission of major pollutants. The quality of surface water and coastal waters continued to improve. The battle to overcome the most difficult part in the “Three-North” Project was fully launched. (Notes: “Three-North” Project is a large-scale ecological project in China’s three northern regions — Northwest China, North China, and Northeast China — aimed at constructing artificial forests. In order to improve the ecological environment, the Chinese government designated this project as an important initiative for national economic development in 1979. The project has a planned duration of 73 years and is divided into eight phases. Currently, the construction of the sixth phase of the project has been initiated.) The installed capacity of renewable energy reached a historic high, surpassing that of coal power for the first time. The newly installed capacity of renewable energy in 2023 accounted for more than half of the global total.”

2. Regarding the jobs finished in 2023, Li said:

“Fourth, we strengthened the governance of ecological environment protection and accelerated the green transformation of development model. We continued to advance the construction of a beautiful China and persistently fought battles to defend blue skies, clear waters, and clean land. We accelerated the implementation of major projects for the protection and restoration of ecosystems. We focused on comprehensive prevention of soil erosion and desertification. We strengthened ecological and environmental inspections. We made policies to support the development of green and low-carbon industries. We promoted ultra-low emissions transformation in key industries. We initiated the first group of pilot cities and areas to achieve carbon peaking. We actively participated in and promoted global climate governance.”

3. Regarding the government’s task in 2024, Li said:

“Ninth, we will strengthen the construction of ecological civilization and promote green and low-carbon development. We will deeply implement the concept that green mountains and clear water are as valuable as mountains of gold and silver, and promote coordinated efforts to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, expand green spaces, and promote economic growth. We aim to build a beautiful China where humans and nature coexist harmoniously.”

“We will promote comprehensive ecological and environmental governance. We will implement the action plan for continuous improvement of air quality, coordinate the governance of water resources, water environment, and water ecosystems, strengthen the prevention and control of soil pollution at the source, and enhance the treatment of solid waste, new pollutants, and plastic pollution. We will adhere to the integrated protection and systematic governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and sands, and strengthen the control and management of ecological environment according to different regions.”

“We will organize and fight the three major iconic battles of the “Three-North” Project and promote the construction of national parks. We will strengthen the ecological protection of important rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. We will continue to promote the ten-year fishing ban in the Yangtze River. We will implement major projects for biodiversity conservation. We will improve the mechanism for realizing the value of ecological products, establish a sound system of ecological protection compensation, and fully mobilize the enthusiasm of all parties to protect and improve the ecological environment.”

“We will vigorously develop a green and low-carbon economy. We will promote the green transformation of industrial structure, energy structure, transportation structure, and urban-rural construction. We will implement a comprehensive strategy for conservation and accelerate energy and water-saving transformations in key areas. We will improve fiscal, taxation, financial, investment, and pricing policies, as well as relevant market mechanisms to support green development. We will promote the development of the circular economy for waste utilization, advance the research and application of energy-saving and carbon-reducing technologies, and accelerate the formation of a green and low-carbon supply chain.”

“We will establish pioneer zones for building a beautiful China and create highlands for green and low-carbon development. We will actively and steadily promote carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. We will carry out the “Ten Major Actions for Carbon Peaking” and enhance the capability for carbon emission accounting and verification. We will establish a carbon footprint management system and expand the coverage of the national carbon market. We will advance the energy revolution, control the consumption of fossil energy, accelerate the construction of a new energy system, strengthen the development of large-scale wind and solar power bases and transmission. We will promote the development and utilization of distributed energy, develop new energy storage, promote the use and international acceptance of green electricity, and leverage the role of coal and coal-fired power as a safeguard to ensure the energy demand for economic and social development.”

These are notes taken at the meeting. The government work report will be reviewed by lawmakers and a formal full text will be released by China’s Xinhua News Agency after the review. – Ying Xue

Source: China Ecological Civilization, March 5, 2024.

From Newsletter by Ying Xue from China Ecological Civilization. Subscribe at above link to receive new posts for free.