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Chongqing Role: How to be a Model in Green Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt


How will Chongqing become a model in advancing green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt? During the Chongqing Two Sessions, Chen Wei, Deputy Director and Press Spokesman of Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau shared the government's plan at a press conference on January 13, 2020.

Chen Wei

Chen Wei, Deputy Director and Press Spokesman of Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau, shares his views on ways for Chongqing to become a model in advancing green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt at a press conference on January 13, 2020. (Photo by Wang Yiling)

In his speech during visiting Chongqing from April 15 to 17, 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that Chongqing should play a demonstration role in facilitating the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Chongqing will stick to making all-out efforts to promote well-coordinated environmental conservation and green development, adhere to prioritize ecology and green development and strive for the best in protecting the eco-environment. It will take the lead in pushing green development and continuously achieve new results in high-level conservation and high-quality growth.

To improve environmental quality, to color the city green

Green is the most beautiful background color for the economic growth of a society. In 2019, Chongqing has made breakthroughs in its endeavor to tackle pollution prevention and control issues.

In tackling water pollution, Chongqing began with the “double general river chief system” and deeply advanced the “three water projects” (water pollution control, water ecology restoration and water resources protection). More than 3,100 projects for water pollution prevention and control were implemented; 2,752 kilometers of new sewage pipelines were built; over 2,600 urban and rural domestic sewage treatment plants able to process 5.33 million tons of sewage per day were built; a total of 94 centralized sewage processing facilities in industrial parks were established. The trunk stream of the Yangtze River in Chongqing was of excellent overall water quality in 2019.

In tackling air pollution, Chongqing has mobilized resources across the city to implement the Blue Sky Campaign. More than 2,000 projects and measures on air pollution control were accomplished, resulting in continuous improvement of the air quality. In 2019, Chongqing saw 316 days in good or excellent air quality. Six major air quality indexes have dropped. Among them, the PM2.5 concentration reached 38 μg/m3, down 5% from 2018.

In tackling soil pollution, Chongqing has built nine disposal facilities for general industrial waste with an annual disposal capacity of 14.44 million m3 and 76 disposal facilities for collecting and utilizing hazardous waste, with an annual disposal capacity of 1.665 million tons. The centralized harmless disposal of medical waste has covered all towns across the city. Chongqing has worked on revitalizing the eco-environment of villages. The soil environment in the city has maintained stable.

To empower quality and efficiency improvement

The green development consists of 1) Eco-environment industrialization, which means to keep elevating the core value of the eco-environment; 2) industry ecologicalization, namely to improve the “green content” of the industrial economy. More details with a large number of data and cases are provided in the government’s work report this year. The following presents the efforts that Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau and other departments concerned have made on promoting green development in 2019.

Stringent spatial regulation. In 2019, Chongqing continued to tighten the regulation over the “1km” and “5km” waterfronts of the trunk stream and major tributaries of the Yangtze River. That means to prohibit within 1km the construction of new heavy chemical, textile, papermaking and other industrial project bearing pollution risks, and to ban the planning of new industrial parks within 5km. Guangyangdao Area, Chongqing was designated in the Opinions on Supporting Chongqing Guangyangdao Area in Implementing Green Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt released by Chongqing Leading Group for Promoting the Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt as the first green development demonstration place in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

Structural adjustment. Chongqing has promoted structural reform on the supply side in an all-round way and launched energy-saving, water-saving and land-saving actions led by digital economy growth and smart city construction. Desired results have been produced in supporting the construction of new technologies, new materials, new energy, and major infrastructure. A total of 47 planning environmental impact assessments (EIA) were reviewed; and 4,171 project EIAs, involving total investment of RMB 475.2 billion, were examined in 2019. The industrial structure has become more scientific and reasonable. A national pilot plan has been launched for the “zero-waste city” project carried out recently in downtown Chongqing.

Improvement of service efficiency. Chongqing has deepened the reform of delegating power, streamlining administration and optimizing government services to raise the efficiency of approval procedures. Chongqing reduced the approval duration of EIA reports and report forms to one-third of the original duration; items subject to approval before getting business licenses were cut from 190 to 32; a consulting mechanism for eco-environment-related construction projects was established. Meanwhile, Chongqing worked to facilitate financial reform and innovation, to provide green finance support for the growth of the real economy. Statistics show over RMB 190 billion of green loans were lent in 2019 across Chongqing, up some 20% from 2018; the first green bank in Chongqing was set up and issued RMB 4.46 billion of green bonds. Chongqing has continued to enlarge environmental element deals. A total of 1,780 enterprises participated in pollution rights trading amounting to RMB 47.86 million in 2019.

More publicity. Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau has launched a lecture tour on fulfilling corporate responsibilities and promoting green development. In 2019, the Bureau has trained over 3,000 enterprises.

To consolidate the foundation and safety bottom line

In 2019, Chongqing built 71 new automatic monitoring stations for water, air, and acoustic environments. It completed an eco-environment big data platform that has collected the pollution source data from approximately 400,000 sources. With the help of unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ships, and infrared thermal imagers, Chongqing has taken the lead in piloting the investigation and regulation of the pollution discharge outlets of the Yangtze River, where 4,172 discharge outlets were verified.

2020 is the decisive year for the battle against pollution and the key year for Chongqing to expand the green development to the whole city. Chongqing will set a good example of continuously improving the eco-environment and take the lead in exploring a new path for quality growth. It will act as a pacemaker for coordinating development between the upstream and downstream of industry chains and for ensuring safety of the eco-environment.


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