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Speech at the Fifth Meeting of CCICED Phase II by Wen Jiabao


  Distinguished Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  In the first golden autumn of the new century, we are gathering here in Beijing to summarize the work of CCICED Phase Ⅱ and jointly explore the key issues of the environment and development in China in the new century. It is of great significance. Please allow me, on behalf of Chinese government and myself to extend my warm welcome to the members and the experts, as well as sincere thanks to you for your attention and support to the environment and development in China.

  In the last five years of the 20th century, great progress has been made in the environment and development in China. Facing with the complicated and varied situation of the international economy, the economy in China has kept developing in a healthy and rapid way. Progress has been made in all fields. In the meantime, achievements have also been made in environmental protection and ecological conservation. In general, the trend of aggravating environmental pollution in the whole country has been brought under control, with the environmental quality improved in some cities and areas. Ever since the new century, China has entered a new period of establishing a better-off society and speeding up the socialist modernization construction. We shall not only maintain the rapid national economic development, but also pay more attention to the ecological construction and environmental protection. The Chinese government will stick to the implementation of the sustainable development strategy, promoting the coordination and harmony between human being and nature, and creating a path of civilization development of economic development, social affluence and favorable ecology. The environment and development is now at a critical point. While speeding up the economic development and restructuring the economy, we should pay more attention to the integration of economic, social and ecological benefits, to environmental protection and the sustainable utilization of resources and the roles of science and technology as well as the marketized mechanism in environmental protection. To achieve this transit will have far-reaching significance on the environment and development in China.

  A thousand-mile journey starts by taking the first step. Targets of the ecological conservation and environmental protection are stipulated in the Tenth Five-Year Plan of the National Economy and Social Development, i.e., with the efforts in five years, the ecological deterioration will be kept within limits, the forest coverage will hit 18.2%, the vegetation coverage in urban areas will increase to 35%, urban and rural environment will be improved with total major pollutant discharge reduced by 10% compared with that in 2000, and obvious achievements will be made in the resources saving and protection.

  In order to achieve the targets of the ecological conservation and environmental protection in the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, we should pay attention to the following four key tasks:

  Firstly, to speed up the economic restructuring. The restructuring is the major theme of the national economic development in China in the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, as well as an important measure to promote environmental protection. The backward production technologies and facilities should be phased out and the enterprises with resources waste and serious pollution should be closed. Active efforts should be devoted to the development of hi-new-tech enterprises and the tertiary industry of water and energy saving and with little or no pollution so as to reduce structuring pollution. The green agriculture, organic agriculture and ecological agriculture will be developed to solve the non-point source pollution.

  Secondly, to speed up the construction of infrastructure facilities of environmental protection. Emphasis should be put to the construction of urban sewage and garbage treatment facilities, enhancing the technology renovation in enterprises, promoting cleaner production, reducing exhaust emission, increasing the treatment rates and levels of the sewage, gas and garbage, and promoting the development of environmental industry.

  Thirdly, to enhance the ecological construction and protection. We will organize in the key areas comprehensive ecological treatment project, natural forest protection project, reafforestation project and prevention of soil erosion. Trees and grasses will be planted to improve the environment.

  Fourthly, to actively explore the operation mechanism and new mechanism of science and technology renovation of environmental protection. Environmental protection should follow the economic rules. We should utilize economic levers, particularly the pricing levers to establish pollution discharge levy system so as to ensure the construction and normal operation of the environmental industry. We should depend on science and technology to promote the environmental protection, focusing our attention and force on the key technical issues of the environmental treatment as well as widely adopting the advanced technologies to promote the level of environmental protection.

  In the new century, we are confident about our future and China will continue to maintain rapid economic development. In the meantime, we will build up a beautiful living environment, with bluer sky, greener land and cleaner water. We sincerely hope that the members and experts of the Council will conduct in-depth discussion and exploration on the key issues of the environment and development of the new Five-Year Plan in China, widely exchange opinions and put forth recommendations to the government of China.

  In the past four years of the establishment of CCICED Phase Ⅱ, members and experts of the Council have made great efforts for the cause of environment and development in China. I would like to express my sincere gratitude again to all of you. China Council has gathered experts and scholars in the field of environment and development in the world and based on your wisdom, has provided valuable recommendations to the scientific decision-making of the Chinese government. The experience shows that China Council is an excellent organizational approach. Chinese government has ratified the establishment of CCICED Phase Ⅲ. I hope that China Council will make greater contributions in the new century.

  I wish the meeting a great success.

  Thank you!

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