China reports drop of major pollutant emissions
Emissions of sulfur dioxide, a major pollutant, in China dropped 10.4 percent last year compared with that of 2008, Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian said here Monday. Zhou told a national conference that sulfur dioxide emissions were down 24.6 percent compared with that of 2005. The government set the target of cutting emissions of major pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, by 10 percent from 2006 to 2010, the 11th Five-Year Plan period. Zhou said the country's COD and emissions of sulfur dioxide fell for four consecutive years after the target was set at the beginning of 2006. He said the successful reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions could be attributed to the use of desulfurization. Statistics show China had built more than 411 million kilowatts of desulfurization units since 2006. However, he said it was still difficult to reduce the amount of COD and the reduction progress was far different among regions. He said this year was the last year in achieving the 11th Five-Year Plan and the government appraisal showed that the environmental protection goal set in the plan could be achieved in time. Zhou said more than 400,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide would be reduced this year and another 200,000 tonnes of COD would be cut down after the 11th Five-Year Plan was met.