By Zhaoyu Yu and Wenxiang Yu, Associated PressEnvironmental groups said Sunday they won a victory in their fight against a crackdown on pollution and other waste, as China’s government conceded defeat in its long-running campaign to tackle the pollution crisis.
The government said in a statement Sunday that it would end the crackdown and that it will start implementing a nationwide clean-up program in the coming days.
“The end of the pollution crackdown is a victory for environmental protection and the fight for sustainable development,” Greenpeace International’s international environmental adviser, Peter Steudtner, told reporters.
The environmental groups, which were behind the 2011 global campaign against China’s heavy industry, hailed the government’s announcement as a victory over the global “China Big Three” – heavy industries, finance, and the media.
The United States has also said it would support the Clean China initiative, which was launched last year by President Donald Trump.
Environmentalists and governments around the world have battled to combat pollution in the past decade, as well as to curb the production of fossil fuels, the main source of global warming.
China, the world’s largest economy, has pledged to clean up the world by 2020, but has not yet committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions or reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
It also has a huge carbon dioxide emissions problem that experts say is largely to blame for global warming, especially because of the heavy industry it has.
China’s economy grew at an annualized 7.5% in the second quarter, far slower than other major economies, including the United States.
That has led to worries about the economic damage the country could suffer as a result of the economic crisis.
China has also had to make tough economic choices.
The country has to cut pollution and pollution-related waste in the short term to meet a government target of reducing emissions to 27% below 2005 levels by 2020.