The 14th five-year plan, which sets out China’s vision for social and economic development of the years 2021-2025, was approved on 11th March 2021. As expected, it includes measures to tackle climate change and several green development targets, ambitious actions in the field of waste management and circular economy, for example the upgrade of environmental infrastructure and a close control of environmental impacts related to hazardous waste.
To address the climate change, it was established that an action plan will be developed to set measures in order to reach the carbon emissions peak by 2030. Strong policies and measures will also be adopted to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. As a mitigation action, the carbon sink capacity of ecosystems will be enhanced. Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP shall be reduced by 18 per cent and efforts will be increased to control other greenhouse gases, such as methane, HFCs and PFCs, too. In order to continuously improve the environmental quality, in-depth pollution prevention actions will be carried out, special focus will be taken on plastic pollution – the whole path of pollution will be followed, and the management of related new pollutants will be strengthened. Other focus areas will be the prevention of waste, especially packaging and expanding the coverage of the extended producer responsibility principle. Compulsory liability for environmental pollution will be implemented. Furthermore, the environmental protection information should be increasingly disclosed as a part of a sound, modern environmental governance system. In rural context, the “waste around the village” and other outstanding environmental problems will be steadily addressed, and illegal dumps are to be continuously rectified.
Regarding the upgrading of the waste infrastructure, the construction of domestic waste treatment system of classified drop-off, classified collection, classified transportation and classified treatment is emphasized. Recycling systems in 60 large and medium-sized cities will be constructed. Moreover, the construction of waste-to-energy facilities should be accelerated, so as to realize zero-waste to landfill in areas with daily treatment capacity of municipal solid waste exceeding 300 tons. Beyond these high-capacity energy recovery plants, construction of small pilot domestic waste treatment facilities should be carried out parallelly. Scheduled is also the construction of a national and six regional technical centers for risk prevention and control of hazardous waste and 20 regional centralized disposal centers for special hazardous waste in order to make up for the shortcomings of medical waste disposal facilities. In terms of policies and mechanisms, strengthen legal and policy guarantees for green development. Implement tax policies that are conducive to energy conservation, environmental protection, and integrated utilization of resources.