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Monday, January 30, 2017, 14:44

China to expand environmental inspections

By Xinhua
China to expand environmental inspections
A man takes photos of buildings on a polluted day in Beijing on Jan 1, 2017. (Greg Baker/AFP)

BEIJING – China's environmental inspections will cover all provincial regions this year, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).

In 2016, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totaling 440 million yuan

Inspectors will monitor local conditions and push local governments to fulfill their responsibilities, the MEP said.

China launched central environmental inspections in 2016, when inspection teams were dispatched to 15 provincial areas including Beijing and Shanghai.

Last year, inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totaling 440 million yuan (about US$64 million). A total of 720 people were detained and close to 6,500 were held accountable for environment-related wrongdoing .

To address environmental degradation, the country gave a push for efficient and clean energy.

Read more: High-level inspection teams prompt revision of anti-pollution measures

The country made progress in clean energy and energy efficiency in 2016.

China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated soil.

Energy use per unit of GDP fell 5 percent in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), a good start to reducing the figure by at least 15 percent by 2020.

Clean energy, including hydropower, wind power and natural gas, accounted for 19.5 percent of China's total energy consumption last year, up from 17.9 percent in 2015.

Read more: 62% of Chinese cities plagued by air pollution

Coal accounted for 64 percent of total consumption in 2015, with the proportion to be cut to 58 percent or less by the end of 2020.
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