China to Establish Environment Ministry This Year

According to Chemistry World magazine, the Chinese government is planning to replace SEPA with an environmental ministry this year:

Hong Yaxiong, deputy director at ’s department of policy, said that the move would help the government stop more of its environmental policies falling by the wayside because the central government has been unable to enforce them locally.

‘The difficulty in implementing [environmental] law and the under-staffing of our agency are expected to be largely resolved with the upcoming new ministry,’ Hong told Chemistry World on the sidelines of the first International Forum on China Environmental Investment in Beijing, on 23 and 24 January.

China has passed over 100 environmental laws and regulations, according to a recent article in Science [1]. But the plethora of new rules has failed to curb pollution, which is estimated to have cost the country US$200 billion in 2005 alone – a figure equivalent to 10 per cent of its gross domestic product.

Related Reuters’ report: China Steps Up Efforts to Fight Pollution