China will expand a pilot reform nationwide starting next year, obliging polluters to repair the environment or pay compensation. By 2020, China aims to establish an efficient comprehensive damage compensation system to protect and improve the country's ecosystem, reported the Xinhua News Agency
The decision is contained in a document issued on 17 December by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
Under the system, individuals or companies that cause environmental damage shall have to help restore the environment. If the damages are beyond restoration, they must pay for losses, a process that will be managed by local governments as non-tax revenue.
The system does not apply to marine ecological and environmental damages, which is governed by the marine environment protection law.
The reform is already piloted in Jilin, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hunan, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan, with notable progress made, according to the document.
China has launched a series of campaigns to fight pollution and environmental degradation, as authorities rectify practices that boost economic growth at environmental cost.
At the same time, China is moving to tighten control over pollutant emissions from new motor vehicles.
A recently revised policy demands stricter emission limits to be gradually placed on carbon monoxide, total hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter produced by new motor vehicles, according to a Ministry of Environmental Protection statement issued yesterday. Priority will be placed on heavy-duty diesel vehicles.
The ministry will set unified national emission standards for new vehicles, with local authorities encouraged to adopt the standards ahead of schedule.