Left Menu
Development News Edition

China struggles to pay incentives to curb soil pollution: Greenpeace study


China struggles to pay incentives to curb soil pollution: Greenpeace study
"Chinese cities rely heavily on land transfer fees to generate revenue and they have a clear incentive to redevelop land on quick turnarounds," said Bao Hang, a campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing. Image Credit: Pixabay

China's efforts to combat dangerous soil pollution are being stymied by local governments and their need to earn money through land sales, environmental group Greenpeace said on Wednesday.

Soil pollution is one of China's biggest environmental challenges. A 2014 government survey showed nearly a fifth of the country's farmland was contaminated to varying degrees by chemical waste, pesticides, mining residues and heavy metals. Beijing drew up a soil pollution action plan in 2016 and new legislation went into effect in January, but the government has struggled to create incentives and financing mechanisms to pay for the clean-up, especially in old industrial or rural regions where property prices are low.

Efforts to improve the environment in urban areas have also led to the demolition of thousands of industrial plants, leaving behind large numbers of contaminated sites. A new study conducted by Greenpeace and the Institute of Ecology and Environment at China's Nanjing University said the reliance on land transfers to generate revenues meant local governments had less motivation to ensure pollution was properly treated.

"Chinese cities rely heavily on land transfer fees to generate revenue and they have a clear incentive to redevelop land on quick turnarounds," said Bao Hang, a campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing. "Even a city with deep commitment to properly handling toxic land will, in the end, need money," Bao said.

In 2018, the transfer of land utilisation permits earned 6.5 trillion yuan ($968.53 billion) for local authorities, up a quarter on the year, the study said. Over the same period, a quarter of China's contaminated land was transferred, earning as much as 1.05 trillion yuan. By comparison, only 7.75 billion yuan has been spent on treating the land, 7 per cent of total earnings last year, it said.

The study found 41 per cent of China's land contamination was caused by chemical production. Heavy metals and metalloids like chromium, lead and arsenic accounted for 54 per cent of the total pollutants, it said. The range of pollutants also makes it harder to find solutions, with land in the city of Wuhan contaminated by 14 different substances. Constant land ownership changes also make it harder to ensure polluters are held accountable, the study said. "Local environmental protection bureaus need some say in land use during the planning stage, given how widespread this problem has become," said Bao.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

Felix will be the player that everyone wants to see: Koke

Atletico Madrid captain Koke said that Joao Felix will be the player that everyone wants to see if he listens to his teammates. Everyone can see what is expected of Joao, hes a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement. Many great p...

'Donald Trump's visit will have good impact on India-US strategic partnership'

As India awaits eagerly for United States President Donald Trump, Jitendra Kumar Tripathi and Ashok Sajjanhar, two former Ambassadors, said on Sunday that this visit will have a good impact on India and US strategic partnership. Indias rela...

Ben Affleck 'nervous' about 'The Last Duel'

Actor Ben Affleck says he is nervous about working on his upcoming film The Last Duel, to be directed by veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott. The much-awaited project, based on Eric Jagers book The Last Duel A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and T...

McCollum, Anthony power Blazers over Pistons

CJ McCollum scored a season-best 41 points, recorded a career-high 12 assists and also collected nine rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 107-104 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Sunday night Carmelo Anthony tallied...

Give Feedback