Government Advisory Organization Proposes Economic Measures to Promote Environmental Protection

May 31, 2005

The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) recently proposed plans to increase the use of economic measures, including taxes and adjusted prices, to promote environmental protection and energy efficiency, reports the May 14 edition of the China Daily. The CCICED proposal also calls for the designation of environmental protection funds in the national budget and centralized management of these funds. A national budget that earmarked environmental protection funds would be a positive step, but the effectiveness of the CCICED proposal will depend on whether or not the management of the funds and assessment of the taxes and adjusted prices can be kept free from favoritism or unfair bias.

A non-governmental organization with members from China and abroad, CCICED was established in 1992 to advise Chinese government officials on environmental and development issues. The State Environmental Protection Administration reports to the CCICED Chairman, according to the CCICED Web site. Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan currently chairs the CCICED.

The proposal to earmark funds for the environment may be a response to announcements that investment targets for environmental protection between 2001 and 2005 will not be met. In February, bureau-level environmental protection officials began calling for the addition of environmental protection funds to the national budget, citing insufficient funds as a hindrance to their work, according to a February 3 China Daily article.