Climate Action

China launches action plan to combat soil pollution

China released a new action plan on Tuesday aimed at curbing soil pollution by 2020 and improving soil quality by 2030

  • 02 June 2016
  • William Brittlebank

China released a new action plan on Tuesday aimed at curbing soil pollution by 2020 and improving soil quality by 2030.

China’s central government will create a dedicated fund to tackle soil pollution, as well as a separate fund to help upgrade technology and equipment in the heavy metal sector, according to a statement from the cabinet.

The cabinet also said that the government will also continue to get rid of outdated heavy metal capacity.

The Chinese environment minister last year said 16 per cent of the country’s soil exceeded state pollution limits.

Much of the responsibility for the costs now lies with impoverished local governments.

There are currently 100 key soil remediation projects under way in China with an estimated total cost of 500 billion yuan, said researchers with Guohai Securities.

China published its latest five-year plan in March and said the country would give priority to cleaning up contaminated soil used in agriculture.

The plan also promises to strengthen soil pollution monitoring systems and develop innovative new clean-up technologies.

During the annual session of parliament in March, Chinese lawmakers said that the country would introduce legislation to tackle soil pollution by next year.