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Shanghai Daily News Digest

Shanghai Ecological Civilization Development and Environmental Protection - 2016-10-14


The CPC proposed at the 18th National Congress that the construction of ecological civilization is a long-term strategy related to people's wellbeing and national future. Faced with the serious situation of tightening resource constraints, serious environmental pollution and ecosystem degradation, ecological civilization concept of natural protection must be established and be integrated into economic, political, cultural and social constructs. At the same time, it is necessary to adhere to the basic national policy of resource conservation and environmental protection, strive to promote the development of green, recycling and low-carbon modes and reverse the trend of ecological environment deterioration from the source so as to create a good production and living environment for the people and contribute to global ecological security. What kind of measures will Shanghai, a modern international metropolis in the construction of “four centers”, take to create ecological civilization and protect the environment? What kind of results has the city achieved? What is the planning for the future?

Achievements of Shanghai Ecological Civilization Development and Environmental Protection

Since 2000, under the leadership of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Shanghai has put the development of an ecological civilization and environmental protection in an important position in urban economic and social development, has taken the lead in establishing environmental protection and comprehensive coordination promotion mechanisms, and implemented five rounds of environmental protection three-year action plans. It has also solved, in stages, outstanding environmental problems in the industrialization, urbanization and modernization process as well as weak links in urban environmental management.

From 2000 to 2015, Shanghai arranged 1,183 projects, and maintained high-level environmental protection investment. This was increased year by year, accounting for around 3% of GDP. Total investment in the projects listed in the first five rounds of a three-year action plan exceeded 300 billion RMB. Environmental protection work showed major strategic shifts. It gradually evolved from pollution control to the comprehensive improvement of the environment, from controlling pollution after it has occurred to promoting the structural layout optimization adjustment of source control, from mainly focusing on the city center to urban-rural integration and regional linkage. Regional environmental cooperation achieved initial success in the Yangtze River Delta, with increasing concern and enthusiasm for participation in environmental protection on the part of both enterprises and the public.

In relation to water conservancy, Shanghai established a water pollution prevention and control system with pollution control as its basis and sewage-interception as the first step. With treatment of both symptoms and root causes and employment of both construction and management, huge progress has been made especially in the construction and protection of drinking water sources and main river management. In 2015, Shanghai implemented, ahead of schedule, key works including the transformation of urban sewage treatment plants, the perfection of the city center sewerage pipe network and pump station flow sewage interception, suburban county sewerage pipe network construction, adjustment of the layout of livestock and poultry farms and the shutdown of small and medium-sized farms. The city’s construction scheme for sewage collection and treatment has largely been completed.

With regards to atmosphere, Shanghai has promoted the clean governance of coal-fired power plants in recent years, enhanced powder coal management, accelerated the motor vehicle pollution-control process, and promoted the comprehensive improvement and adjustment of industrial structure and forbidden stalk burning. A series of measures led to Shanghai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) showing a good rate increase from 66% in 2013 to 70.7% in 2015, while the annual PM2.5 concentrations decreased from 62 microgram/cubic meter to 53 microgram per cubic meter. The city air quality has maintained a good level in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations.

In terms of solid waste, a “one main and many stations” garbage disposal system was formed. In 2015, Shanghai’s hazard-free treatment rate of waste reached 100%, with garbage classification covering nearly 3.8 million households and green account covering 1 million households. Waste materials recycling and the garbage collection system have been promoted in Songjiang, Changning and Pudong. Electronic waste collection, trading and disposal network system was established in a preliminary form, while safe disposal of hazardous waste and medical waste was established.

In addition, Shanghai has formed a relatively comprehensive system of environmental laws and regulations system, revising “Rules of Shanghai Environmental Protection”, issuing “Shanghai Drinking Water Source Protection Ordinance”, “Shanghai Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations”, “Shanghai Noise Pollution of Social Life Prevention Measures” and  25 other local laws and regulations; Shanghai also designed more than 20 local environmental standards and specifications including “Semiconductor Industry Pollutant Emission Standards” and “Lead Battery Industry Air Pollutants Emission Standards”.

Future Planning

According to Shanghai’s “Thirteenth Five-year” Plan, in relation to the creation of an ecological civilization, Shanghai in the future will establish green space wedges around the center city, a green belt around the outer ring, and ecological intervals around the surrounding areas in the central city as well as suburban green rings. The construction of large regional parks and permanent farmland protection are also planned. According to the goal of “leading domestic and first-class international”, Shanghai will build and perfect urban green infrastructure architecture with green land of 6,000 hectares (park green space of more than 2,500 hectares) and new forest land areas of over 300,000 mu. A “multi-level, network and functional composite” ecological network framework with urban forest as its remarkable feature will have been partly built by 2020, with the city's forest coverage rate reaching 18% and park green space per capita of 8.5 square meters.

In terms of environmental protection, Shanghai will in the future increase the intensity of environmental governance so as to improve the ecological environment quality; strengthen industrial pollution prevention and control and promote the development of green transformation; implement ecological space control and increase green ecological space; strengthen environmental risk control and ensure the security of the urban environment; deepen the systems and mechanisms reform and improve the environmental governance system. By 2020, the total discharge of major pollutants should continue to fall, the ecological environment quality and ecological space will have improved, the resources use efficiency will have been significantly increased, environmental risk will have been effectively controlled, green production and green living standards will have been significantly increased and the ecological environment management system and management ability modernization will have made major progress.


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