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Full text of Hu Jintao's report at 18th Party Congress (9)


12:47, November 19, 2012

VIII. Making Great Efforts to Promote Ecological Progress

Promoting ecological progress is a long-term task of vital importance to the people's wellbeing and China's future. Faced with increasing resource constraints, severe environmental pollution and a deteriorating ecosystem, we must raise our ecological awareness of the need to respect, accommodate to and protect nature. We must give high priority to making ecological progress and incorporate it into all aspects and the whole process of advancing economic, political, cultural, and social progress, work hard to build a beautiful country, and achieve lasting and sustainable development of the Chinese nation.

We should remain committed to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment as well as the principle of giving high priority to conserving resources, protecting the environment and promoting its natural restoration, and strive for green, circular and low-carbon development. We should preserve our geographical space and improve our industrial structure, way of production and way of life in the interest of conserving resources and protecting the environment. We should address the root cause of deterioration of the ecological environment so as to reverse this trend, create a sound working and living environment for the people, and contribute our share to global ecological security.

1. Improve development of China's geographical space

It is in geographical space that ecological progress can be advanced, and we must cherish every bit of it. Guided by the principle of maintaining balance between population, resources and the environment and promoting economic, social and ecological benefits, we should keep the pace of development under control and regulate its space composition. We should ensure that the space for production is used intensively and efficiently, that the living space is livable and proper in size, and that the ecological space is unspoiled and beautiful; and we should leave more space for nature to achieve self-renewal. We should keep more farmland for farmers, and leave to our future generations a beautiful homeland with green fields, clean water and a blue sky. We should ensure the speedy implementation of the functional zoning strategy and require all regions to pursue development in strict accordance with this strategy, and advance urbanization, agricultural development and ecological security in a scientific and balanced way. We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power.

2. Promote all-around resource conservation

Resource conservation is an important way to protect the ecological environment. We should conserve resources and use them efficiently and bring about a fundamental change in the way resources are utilized. We should strengthen conservation efforts all the way, drastically reduce energy, water and land consumption per unit of GDP, and use such resources in a better and more efficient way. We should launch a revolution in energy production and consumption, impose a ceiling on total energy consumption, save energy and reduce its consumption. We should support the development of energy-efficient and low-carbon industries, new energy sources and renewable energy sources and ensure China's energy security. We should better protect water sources, impose a cap on total water consumption, promote water recycling, and build a water-conserving society. We should ensure that the red line for protecting farmland is not crossed and strictly control land uses. We should strengthen exploration, protection and proper exploitation of mineral resources. We should develop a circular economy to reduce waste and resource consumption, reuse resources and recycle waste in the process of production, distribution and consumption.

3. Intensify protection of the ecosystem and the environment

A sound ecological environment is the fundamental basis for sustainable human and social development. We should launch major projects for restoring the ecosystem, increase our capacity for producing ecological products, take integrated steps to control desertification, stony deserts and soil erosion, enlarge forests, lakes and wetlands, and protect biodiversity. We should accelerate construction of water conservancy projects, and enhance our capacity for responding to floods, drought and waterlogging in urban and rural areas. We should improve the system for preventing and mitigating natural disasters and become better able to respond to meteorological, geological and seismic disasters. We should take a holistic approach to intensifying prevention and control of water, air and soil pollution, putting prevention first and placing emphasis on serious environmental problems that pose health hazards to the people. We will work with the international community to actively respond to global climate change on the basis of equity and in accordance with the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of all countries.

4. Enhance system building to promote ecological progress

System building is crucial to protecting the ecological environment. Resource consumption, environmental damage and ecological benefits should be covered by the system of standards for evaluating economic and social development, and related goals, evaluation methods and reward and punishment mechanisms should be adopted in keeping with the need of promoting ecological progress. We should establish a system for developing and protecting China's geographical space and improve the system for providing the strictest possible protection for farmland and systems for managing water resources and protecting the environment. We should deepen reform of prices, taxes and fees for resource products, and establish a system for paying for resource consumption and compensating for ecological damage - a system that responds to market supply and demand and resource scarcity, recognizes ecological values and requires compensation in the interests of later generations. We should carry out trials for trading energy savings, carbon emission rights, pollution discharge rights and water rights. We should strengthen environmental monitoring and improve the system of accountability for ecological and environmental protection and the system of compensation for environmental damage. We should increase publicity of and education in ecological progress, raise public awareness of the need to conserve resources, protect the environment and promote ecological progress, and foster a social atmosphere of practicing moderate consumption and cherishing the ecological environment.

We must treasure nature more consciously, protect the ecosystem more actively, and strive to usher in a new era of socialist ecological progress.

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