BEIJING, March 5, Chinadaily -- China will pursue both high-quality development and environmental protection by reforming and refining relevant systems, according to the Government Work Report delivered in the opening of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress on Tuesday. 

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Aerial photo taken on Sept 1, 2018 shows an early autumn scenery of the Hongze Lake wetland in Sihong county, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/Xinhua]

“We will strengthen pollution prevention and control, enhance ecological improvement, and make big advances in green development,” the report said.

The report also stressed that green development is a critical element of modernizing an economy and a fundamental solution to pollution.

According to the report, China plans to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 percent in 2019, while making continuous effort to decrease the density of PM 2.5, a major particle pollutant, in key locations, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Fenhe-Weihe River Plain area.

Stronger moves will be made to tackle pollution from industrial production, coal used as fuel and motor vehicles, which are the three major sources of pollution. Upgrading heating, shifting from coal to clean energy, will be promoted continuously in northern China, according to the report.

China plans to achieve a 2-percent drop in both chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions this year as the government makes strengthened efforts to curb water and soil pollution.

Work targeting malodorous water bodies will be accelerated, and comprehensive measures will be taken to improve the environment in key river basins and offshore areas, according to the report.

“We will step up sorting in solid waste and urban garbage disposal,” the report said.

The country will also heed enterprises’ justified concerns and provide better assistance and guidance to them, according to the report.

“Enterprises that need to take measures to meet standards should be given a reasonable grace period to do so, and we must avoid handling things in a simplistic and crude way or just shutting firms down to be done with it,” it said.

The work to prevent and control pollution is certain to produce more effective results when enterprises have both motivation and external pressure, it adds.

According to the report, a series of measures will be launched to strengthen green and environmental industries, including quickening the pace of upgrading thermal power, steel and other industries to achieve ultra-low emissions and enforcing upgrades in heavy-polluting sectors to achieve compliance with standards.

While promoting cleaner use of coal and working faster to address the problem of idle capacity in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, China will also speed up the development of sewer networks and treatment facilities in urban areas, the report said.

“We will boost resources conservation and recycling and encourage the construction of eco-friendly buildings,” it said.

It added that environmental economic policies will be reformed and improved to accelerate the development of green finance, develop leading enterprises specializing in environmental protection, and enhance the country’s capacity for green development.

Trials to conserve and restore the ecosystems of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, farmland and grassland will be pressed ahead with as China steps up its effort to protect and restore ecosystems, it adds.

“Promoting green development is down to every last one of us; its success hinges on action and commitment. We must all work together to create a beautiful and livable environment for our people,” it said.