What are the characteristics of the Chinese provinces
Another serious environmental problem is severe water pollution from industrial production and the discharge of untreated wastewater. About two thirds of China's waters are considered polluted. This applies above all to the already arid regions of northern and western China.
These regions also face the problem of desertification. Overgrazing, overcultivation and deforestation make the soils susceptible to wind and water erosion. Since the 1970s, the desert area has increased by more than 50,000 square kilometers. To counteract this development, the Chinese government started a large-scale reforestation campaign in the affected areas, known as the “green wall”. The aim of the project, which was started in the 1970s, is to reforest forests on an area that roughly corresponds to that of Germany. Between 2010 and 2015, 1.54 million hectares of forest were replanted. However, the approach is now controversial, as the planted forests in some areas have led to a lowering of the groundwater level and thus partially intensified desertification. Since China's forest area, which makes up a total of 207 million hectares and thus 22% of the total area of the country, is characterized by intensive forestry use, a significant increase in the total forest area in China is not yet in sight.
The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for implementing environmental policy in China. Its job is to shape environmental legislation. It publishes an annual status report on the state of Chinese environmental protection. On the lower administrative levels, the Ministry of the Environment operates environmental protection offices that take care of the implementation of environmental laws and regulations. A new environmental protection law has been in force in the PR China since 2015, which is considered to be the most progressive law in the field of environmental policy to date. The Ministry of the Environment can now close operations that violate environmental regulations under certain conditions.
Another important innovation of the Environmental Act is the inclusion of civil society actors in the shaping of environmental policy. NGOs such as Friends of Nature appear as plaintiffs in environmental processes. Other NGOs such as the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) publish various real-time data on air and water pollution in China.
At the G20 summit in Hangzhou in 2016, the PR China announced the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate protection. At the end of 2020, Xi Jinping affirmed that China is committed to measures that limit the global temperature increase to between 1.5 and two degrees. To this end, climate neutrality is to be achieved by 2050, at the latest by 2060. One focus here is on the expansion of electric mobility. In 2018, 2.61 million e-vehicles were registered in China. The PR China currently provides half of all e-cars, 98% of e-buses and 99% of all electric two-wheelers worldwide.
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