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Speech at the Opening Ceremony by Xia Keqiang


  Respected Mr.Chairman, and Vice Chairmen.

  All CCICED members,

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  The fifth meeting of the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development is now in session.

  First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Shanghai Municipal Government, to offer my congratulations on the convening of the meeting, and to warmly welcome Mr.Chairman, Vice Chairmen, members of the Council, and all guests to the city of Shanghai,

  Shanghai is the biggest economic metropolis in China .The Shanghai Municipal Government has always paid great attention to environmental protection, and has continually increased its understanding in this area. At the beginning of the 1970s, Shanghai became aware of pollution problems as they pertain to city development.

  From the 1980s,Shanghai has taken measures to control and prevent the "three industrial wastes." Some problems were solved by relocating heavily polluting industries away from the residential areas. However, because of limited funding, these measures were only temporary solutions. during the 1990s, with improvement of the economy and raising of environmental awareness, Shanghai has accelerated its infrastructure construction and strengthened urban rehabilitation, Environmental protection has thus entered a new stage for temporary and permanent control.

  At present, we are both strengthening environmental management and controlling the discharge of major pollutants. Simultaneously, we are raising funds for a number of major infrastructure and environment engineering projects, including Stage One of the Shanghai Combined Sewage Project. During the Eighth Five-Year Plan, a total of 14.051 billion RMB from the government budget was allocated for environment protection. In the last three Years of that period 2% of the city GDP was used for environmental protection work. In the last ten years environment issues have drawn attention from governments at all levels and support from the public. As a result of adherence to sustainable development objectives, the discharge amount of major pollutants has shown no increase, and remains at the same level as that of the 1980s.

  However, due to heavy population density and the large scale of heavy industry, we have a big historic environmental deficit. In addition, with the fast development of the economy, some new environmental problems have appeared. For instance, as the number of automobiles, including cars and mopeds, increases, the exhausted fume s and gases have caused an enormous air pollution problem. We are still faced with severe challenges.

  For this reason, in the "Ninth Five-Year Plan" we must use as a base the environmental protection requirements set for us by the state and decide to rely on our human resource capabilities. We must also promote the integration of environment and development and ensure that we never develop our economy at the expense of the environment in order to realize sustainable development.

  In addition, an overall objective for the Shanghai Environmental Protection Plan was formulated-to establish an environmental protection framawork suitable for a n international metropolis by the year 2000.To meet this objective, Shanghai will further increase its investment in environmental construction in the next five years, and try to make 3% of GDP for environmental protection (an annual average of a bout eight billion RMB). According to the Shanghai Environmental Protection Master Plan, we have arranged a number of Projects in connection with industry pollution source treatment, water pollution prevention, water resources protection, air pollution prevention, solid waste disposal, and ecological construction, among which the Comprehensive Treatment of Suzhou Creek will be a centerpiece of importance for some time to come. This is because this is project will produce a positive and profound influence on Shanghai City for the improvement of the urban ecological environment, the upgrading of our quality of life, and the beautification of the urban landscape.

  The fact that the meeting is held in Shanghai will significantly affect the city and will further promote cooperation and exchange between Shanghai and the international community. In the past ten years, we have made great progress by cooperating with the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Canada, Sweden, the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and others, in the fields of environment management policies, environmental legislation, and compressive control, as well as strategies for the control of water and air pollution, technologies of waste water treatment and water purification, sulfur dioxide control, hazardous waste treatment and disposal, and the development of high efficiency environmental protection apparatus. Among these, the first stage of Shanghai Combined Sewerage Project have made significant progress.

  On behalf of the Shanghai Municipal Government, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all our friends who have provided assistance and support to Shanghai's environmental protection work. Meanwhile, I also wish to say that we hope we can further strengthen cooperation and exchange.

  Finally, I hope this meeting is a great success, and wish everyone good health and an enjoyable stay in Shanghai.

  Thank you!

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