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Press release for Party Committee special-series press conference (Sept. 27, 2022)
The External Communications Office of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee this afternoon (September 27) held the fourth media briefing of the Party Committee special-series press conferences on the theme “forging ahead in a new journey and make contributions in a new era.” Cheng Peng, Party Secretary and Director of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, introduced the progress and achievements of Shanghai’s ecology and environment work since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, focusing on the theme of “resolutely fighting against pollution and accelerating the construction of a beautiful Shanghai where humans and nature coexist in harmony.” Xia Minglin, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ruan Renliang, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Shanghai Water Authority (Shanghai Oceanic Bureau), and Tang Jiafu, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Shanghai Landscaping and City Appearance Administrative Bureau, attended the press conference and answered questions from reporters.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai has resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, thoroughly studied and implemented Xi Jinping’s thoughts on ecological civilization, and integrated the new development concept into the city’s overall development strategy. The city explored deep integration and practice of the two important concepts of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” and “people’s cities.” Through the joint efforts of the whole society, the city has realized the transition from making up for shortcomings to improving quality, from targeted governance to comprehensive governance, and from end-stage to whole-process prevention and control. The phased goals of the tough battle of pollution prevention and control have been fully achieved, the urban and rural environment has taken on a new look, and the people’s satisfaction and sense of gain have been significantly improved. In 2020, the report on the second-round central inspection on ecological and environmental protection pointed out that “Shanghai has achieved remarkable results in the construction of ecological civilization and ecological and environmental protection, and it is at the forefront of the whole country.” In the assessment of pollution prevention and control of various provinces and cities by the CPC Central Committee, Shanghai has been rated excellent for two consecutive years, and ranked first in the country in 2020.
In the past decade, Shanghai has leveraged high-level leadership and prioritized system construction to gradually build a grand environmental protection landscape for the whole society. The city took the rolling implementation of a three-year action plan for environmental protection as the starting point to address prominent environmental problems in the process of industrialization, urbanization and modernization in phases, while achieving remarkable results in ecological and environmental protection and construction across society. Especially since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and the Shanghai Municipal Government have prioritized the construction of ecological civilization in the overall economic and social development, established the leading group for the construction of ecological civilization in Shanghai, and comprehensively strengthened the overall leadership of the construction of ecological civilization and ecological and environmental protection. The Responsibility List of Ecological and Environmental Protection Work in Shanghai and the Work Regulations of Ecological and Environmental Protection Supervision in Shanghai have been released. The city has carried out evaluation of the effectiveness of the battle against pollution in various districts, and the system of sharing the responsibility of the Party and government for ecological and environmental protection and the system of “one post and two responsibilities” have been continuously improved. The concept of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” has been deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of the people, the citizens’ awareness of ecological civilization has been significantly improved, and the general environmental protection landscape of the whole society has basically been formed.
In the past decade, Shanghai has insisted on treating both “symptoms” and “root causes” while prioritizing the treatment of the latter. The city has paid more attention to the prevention and control at the source through structural adjustment and layout optimization. The city adhered to prioritizing evaluation in terms of yield per mu, efficiency, energy consumption and environment, actively implemented the carbon neutrality strategy, gave full play to the role of environmental protection as driving force and catalysts, continuously stepped up adjustment of the “four major structures” (energy, industry, transportation and agriculture) and fostered new momentum for green and low-carbon development. Over the past decade, more than 10,000 municipal-level industrial structure adjustment projects have been completed, by ensuring efforts to address “five violations” and ensure “four musts” (violations in land use, construction, operation, sewage discharge and residence; Hidden safety hazards must be eliminated, illegal and unlicensed buildings must be demolished, dirty and messy phenomena must be rectified, and illegal operations must be banned). The Jinshan area, Taopu, Nanda, Wujing and other key areas have accelerated green transformation. The city has completed a reduction of 66.8 square kilometers of low-efficiency construction land, with the land released mainly used for ecological construction. Since 2010, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP and energy consumption per unit of GDP in Shanghai have both dropped by more than 50%. By the end of 2021, a total of 677,000 new energy vehicles have been promoted, and the operating mileage of rail transit continued to rank first in the world. The scale of green buildings has reached 289 million square meters, and the adoption of prefabricated buildings has been leading the country.
In the past decade, Shanghai has adhered to a people-oriented approach and prioritized practical results, to continuously meet the growing needs of people for a beautiful ecological environment. The focus of ecological and environmental protection work has been keeping pace with the times, and gradually shifted from pollutant emissions reduction to the improvement of environmental quality and the enhancement of ecological service functions. The city adhered to clearing up water for the people and returning the riversides to the people. By relying on the implementation of the action plan to prevent and control water pollution, improve water quality assessment, supervision and information disclosure mechanisms, the city has comprehensively enhanced infrastructure capacity for prevention and control of water pollution. In 2018, the black and odorous rivers were basically eliminated, and in 2020, the inferior V-class water bodies were basically eliminated, thus fundamentally solving river pollution. In 2021, 80.6% of the main water bodies featured quality better than Class III, which was the best level in history. The water quality of the four centralized drinking water sources is stable and up to standard. The aquatic biodiversity index and fish quantity of key rivers and lakes such as Huangpu River, Suzhou Creek and Dianshan Lake are on the increase. The Huangpu River and the core urban section of Suzhou Creek are fully connected, and the Suzhou Creek water tourism route has been officially launched. The city has transformed the “industrial rust belt” into the “life show belt”, turning black and smelly rivers to beautiful boat routes. Thus, “One River, One Creek” has become a landmark scenery in Shanghai. Efforts have been made to improve the air environment quality. There are more crystal days, and blue sky and white clouds become the norm. In 2021, the annual average concentration of PM2.5 reached 27 micrograms per cubic meter, the lowest since records were available, a decrease of 56% compared with 62 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013. The city has achieved the target in the 14th Five-Year Plan period ahead of schedule, and people’s sense of gain on the “blue sky” has been significantly enhanced. The city has adhered to efforts to enable people to “eat safely and live a worry-free life” by striving to solve soil problems that threaten the safety of agricultural products and the living environment. The safe utilization rate of contaminated farmland and plots has reached 100%, and soil environmental risks have been effectively managed and controlled. The city has adhered to the concept of “people’s city” as ecological space has been greatly improved. By the end of 2021, the forest cover rate reached 19.4%, and the per capita park green space reached 8.8 square meters. The ecological pattern of “rings, wedges, corridors, gardens and forests” has basically been formed, and the city has become more leisurely and livable. Efforts have been made to create a new model of mega-city in which humans and nature coexist in harmony. The level of urban biodiversity has gradually recovered, and wild animals such as raccoon dogs and aurora crows have become our neighbors. During the inspection on estuary ecology in 2021, the Yangtze finless porpoise, a national first-class protected animal known as the “giant panda of the water”, was observed in the mouth of the Yangtze River.
In the past decade, Shanghai has adhered to multiple-party co-governance and refined management, and continued to improve the modernization level of urban environmental governance. The city continued to enhance local legislation, formulated and revised local regulations such as Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Environmental Protection, Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Protection of Drinking Water Sources, issued over 30 local standards, promoted the reform for the compensation system of ecological environment damage, advanced the construction of ecological civilization with rule-of-law thinking and power, and safeguarded the base line of ecological and environmental protection. The city continued to leverage the market system to control pollution, by taking the lead in implementing the third-party environmental pollution control pilot project nationwide, and promoting the comprehensive transformation of pollution discharge charges to environmental taxes. The national carbon emission rights trading market was launched in Shanghai, and the Shanghai local carbon market is the only pilot market where companies achieved 100% settlement for 8 consecutive years and transaction volumes of Chinese Certified Emission Reduction (CCER) always ranked first in the country. The city has vigorously developed green finance, and actively promoted the pilot projects of biodiversity finance initiative (Biofin) and green supply chain. The Pudong New Area has become one of the first batch of climate investment and financing pilot zones in the country. The city fully implemented the reform of pollutant discharge permit and environmental assessment, accelerated the implementation of major projects, and magnified the advantageous effect of the reform of the environmental assessment system in promoting economic growth. The city continued to consolidate the main responsibility of corporates on environmental governance and the supervision responsibility of the “minimum unit” at the grassroots level. It actively explored social autonomy of grassroots organizations, accelerated benign interaction between government governance social adjustment and enterprise autonomy, and gave full play to the role of whole-process people’s democracy in grassroots environmental governance.
In the past decade, Shanghai has adhered to regional cooperation, joint protection and governance, and co-building of a green and beautiful Yangtze River Delta. The city firmly captured the important opportunity of the integration of the Yangtze River Delta as a national strategy, closely followed the two key words of “integration” and “high-quality”, established and improved an all-round cooperation mechanism for ecological and environmental protection in the Yangtze River Delta region, and promoted the collaborative prevention and control of pollution in the Yangtze River Delta. The city promoted the implementation of the “Yangtze River Delta Regional Ecological and Environmental Joint Protection Plan”, while taking the lead in promoting regional early warning and emergency response to heavy pollution weather, coordinated control of diesel truck pollution, joint protection and management of key transboundary water bodies, and establishment of a “white list” for the utilization and disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste. The city broke down the administrative barriers by piloting and testing in the integrated demonstration zone, and promoting system innovation that unifies regional ecological and environmental protection standards, monitoring, and law enforcement (adopting a unified set of standards to regulate ecological and environmental protection, a unified network to oversee ecological and environmental monitoring and environmental protection, and a unified measurement to implement effective ecological and environmental supervision). It has basically realized the normal sharing of air quality monitoring, forecast and early warning information in key cities within the region.
Over the past decade, under the guidance of Xi Jinping’s thought on ecological civilization, Shanghai has initially embarked on a new path of modern environmental governance that conforms to the characteristics and laws of a megacity, demonstrates the characteristics of a modern socialist international metropolis, and leads to a beautiful city.
Looking into the future, Shanghai will adhere to green and low-carbon development, fight the tough battle against pollution, and speed up the construction of a beautiful home where humans and nature coexist in harmony. The 12th Congress of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee put forward higher requirements for Shanghai’s ecological civilization construction and ecological environmental protection work. On September 5, the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and Shanghai Municipal Government issued the Implementation Opinions on Deepening the Battle of Pollution Prevention and Control and Moving on a New Journey to Build a Beautiful Shanghai. The opinions aimed to promote the formation of a “1+1+X” pollution prevention and control system, by identifying eight special actions on pollution prevention and control for water, air, and soil, and putting forward a series of binding indicators. For example, the city’s PM2.5 annual average concentration should be stably controlled below 30 micrograms per cubic meter by 2025, and the ratio of days with good air quality should be more than 90%.
Shanghai will further consolidate the ecological environment as the foundation of urban development, make the green color the most attractive background color and the warmest color for the city, and build Shanghai into a beautiful home with bluer sky, greener space, cleaner water, and better living conditions where people and nature can co-exist in harmony.