Chinese Legislature Passes New Changes to Country’s Environmental Protection Law
Last Thursday, the Chinese legislature has passed one of the biggest changes in its environmental protection laws in 25 years. The changes will deal more severe punishments to those caught polluting as workers from various government departments will be working harder to limit smog and tainted soil during the thirty years of economic growth.
Changes made to the environment law are the setting of and environmental protection in the country as a basic policy. These rules have not changes since the law was implemented in 1989, the year when China started to consume more energy as it transformed into a global manufacturing hub. Today the country is the largest carbon emitter, and is now moving fast to address the problems and environmental damages which is the byproduct of the speeding up of the country’s economic growth and is now creating social unrest. Reports on pollution affecting people and also revealed the damage it caused to the country’s water, soil and air.
Around 60 percent groundwater in more than 4,000 sites all across China have been discovered to have a poor or extremely poor quality due to excessive amount of pollutants. Recent survey also showed that there are unacceptable levels of arsenic, mercury along with other pollutants in 16 percent of the 6.3 million square meters of land that were tested by the Ministry of Land and Resources. Furthermore air quality in the country failed standards 52 percent last year.
Changes in the new environmental law will take effect in January 1, 2015.