China has ‘long way to go’ to meet ecological goals: State Council

China aims to bring the proportion of good water quality in its coastal regions up to 79 per cent, to basically eliminate heavy polluted weather, to effectively control soil pollution risks and to significantly enhance the capability of treating solid waste and new pollutants, the council said.

The government also vowed to cut the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mainly emitted by petroleum and chemical industries, and nitrogen oxides by at least 10 per cent in 2025 from 2020 levels, to halt the rise in ground ozone pollution.

It will try to meet its ambitious environmental goals without major disruption of economic and industrial activity and people's everyday lives, the council said, adding that the environmental fight will also coordinate with other national actions including energy and food security campaigns.

The State Council aims to make around 93 per cent of its contaminated farmland fit for crops by the end of 2025, up from 90 per cent set for the end of 2020, and to reduce heavy metal waste discharged by key industries by 5 per cent from their 2020 levels.

China will focus on key sectors such as energy, steel and transport in its efforts to curb carbon emissions, it said.

President Xi has faced criticism, including from US President Joe Biden, for not attending the UN climate gathering now underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Beijing has also not offered new targets in the non-binding national climate change plans, known as NDCs, that must be submitted regularly to the United Nations as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on tackling climate change.

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