By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
BEIJING, Nov. 26 — The Chinese government released a long-delayed environmental protection plan Monday that promises added efforts to tackle the country’s increasingly foul air and water and for the first time emphasizes a need to reduce greenhouse gases, officials said.
The 11th Five-Year Plan to protect the environment, for 2005 to 2010, also pledges to make polluters pay for cleanup. The plan left unclear whether the government will force local officials and businesses to abide by its terms.
“This time, it’s stated clearly which areas should be taken care of by the government, and which areas are the responsibility of enterprises,” said Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the State Environmental Protection Administration. Compared with the previous five-year plan, this document “makes its goals clearer and simpler.”