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China fails to meet air, water targets

By Lucy Hornby (Shanghai Daily)

08:57, March 06, 2012

CHINA'S continuing reliance on heavy industry meant it failed to meet its own targets for cleaning its air and water in 2011, the head of the top planning body said yesterday.

China, which suffers from soil, water and air pollution that is damaging public health, wants to use energy more efficiently and cut emissions.

But it missed about half the targets set by the government for 2011, including energy intensity, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, and a measure of water pollution.

"There are a lot of complicated reasons for failing to meet the targets. The biggest is that we have not transformed our economic development model," said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"Our means of growth are still too coarse and our structural adjustment is lagging behind."

China's energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 2 percent last year, below a 3.5 percent target, frustrating those who are trying to change the economy so that it wastes less.

China also missed its target for chemical oxygen demand, a measure of water pollution.

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