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China struggling to meet environment goals: official

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 29, 2008
China is having trouble meeting energy efficiency and pollution reduction goals, but the government remains determined to reach the targets, a top official said Wednesday.

China has a target of reducing the amount of energy it consumes per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent over the five years to 2010.

It has also vowed to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, a key air pollutant, and chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, by 10 percent each from 2005 levels.

"Our work over the next three years will be very difficult, but the (government)... will not waver in assessing the situation in accordance with these goals," Vice Minister of Planning Xie Zhenhua told reporters.

Speaking at the unveiling of a climate change policy paper, Xie said China's energy efficiency had improved just 5.38 percent at the end of last year, leaving a lot of work to reach the 20 percent target by 2010.

He added that the air and water pollution indexes had fallen by just three and four percent respectively over the past two years, leaving China behind schedule on those two fronts.

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Study: Biosolids pose little worker risk
Madison, Wis. (UPI) Oct 29, 2008
U.S. environmentalists say they've found there is only a low risk from aerosolized microorganisms involved in applying treated sewage sludge as a fertilizer.

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