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Pollution costing China dear: report

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

11:11, February 04, 2012

A fisherman shows fish killed by the cadmium pollution in Hechi, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Jiang Dong / China Daily

BEIJING - China is paying an increasing price for pollution brought about by economic development, says a report by the country's environmental protection academy.

The cost of environmental and ecological damage to the country soared to almost 1.4 trillion yuan ($222 billion) in 2009, an increase of 9.2 percent on the previous year. China spent 3.8 percent of that year's GDP to clean up the environment, according to the statistics in the recently released China Green National Accounting Study Report 2009.

"The damage to the environment not only results in health problems, but in financial loss as well," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a non-government organization protection agency based in the capital.

"It's a vicious circle if we continue to strive for economic prosperity at the cost of huge energy consumption and environmental pollution, and it's time we wake up and curb the trend," Ma said.

The average cost of China's resources output is $320 to $350 per ton, far below that of developed economies, which is between $2,500 to $3,500 per ton, and it is still decreasing, according to the report conducted by the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, an institution of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

"This means we are consuming about 10 times more energy than the developed economies for the same amount," said Ma.

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