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Pollution eats up 3% of economy
Latest Updated by 2006-09-08 10:37:38
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Pollution eats up 3% of economy

AIR, water and solid-waste pollution caused 511.8 billion yuan (US$64 billion) worth of damage across China in 2004, accounting for 3.05 percent of the year's gross domestic product, according to the country's first "green GDP" report.

Pan Yue, a vice director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday that the total represents "only the tip of the iceberg."

"This marks only the beginning of our efforts in 'green' GDP calculation," Pan said. "Our formula is still not complete, and we have to keep working hard to improve it."

The report was released jointly by the SEPA and the National Bureau of Statistics.

The "green GDP" calculation system is based on the cost of using five natural resources - land, minerals, forest, water and fisheries - and the cost of environmental pollution and ecological damage.

"Owing to technological limitations, we calculated only the cost of 10 of 20 types of environmental pollution this time," said Pan, noting the cost of underground water pollution and soil pollution was not included.

"If all the factors are taken into account, you can imagine how serious the loss caused by environmental pollution actually is," Pan said.

The report calculated the 2004 cost of water pollution to be 286.3 billion yuan, air pollution 219.8 billion yuan and solid waste pollution and pollution accidents 5.7 billion yuan.

Massive investment

Wang Jingnan, chief engineer of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning and a key member of the research team, said China would need to invest 1.08 trillion yuan, mainly to construct new facilities, and spend 287.4 billion yuan in operating costs, to completely treat the amount of industrial pollutants and household waste produced in 2004.

Both agencies said they will work to improve their "green GDP" calculations, and SEPA said it will conduct a nationwide survey of pollution sources, underground water pollution, soil pollution and ecological damages.

Editor: Yan

By: Winny Wang Source: China View website
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