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Practical environmental measure

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-01 07:34

The general offices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, China's Cabinet, recently published a document stipulating that officials must receive an audit of natural resources when leaving office.

The move means outgoing officials will face a new environmental accountability audit aside from the previous economic responsibility audit.

In the past, officials' economic achievements came under strict scrutiny when they were promoted, moved to other positions, or retired, while not enough attention was paid to their environmental protection achievements. As a result, it was natural for officials to leave environmental problems to their successors.

According to the National Audit Office, the audit of environmental accountability covers a variety of aspects, including how State environmental protection policies are implemented, whether the funds earmarked for environmental protection are used in line with the law and how environmental projects are advanced.

Such environmental responsibility audits are desperately needed. But whether relevant policies and measures are implemented to the letter to a large extent hinges on what attitude local officials hold toward the environment and, more important, the concrete actions they take.

Without carrying out an environmental accountability audit, it is difficult to hold to account those officials who simply pay lip service to environmental protection. In this sense, the environmental accountability audits based on a series of measurable indexes will effectively put a stop to this.

Given that the top authorities attach great importance to ecological protection and the public is increasingly concerned about the environment, it is particularly necessary to introduce an assessment system for environmental accountability. Environmental indexes should be taken into full consideration when an official is promoted, transferred or investigated.

-Southern Metropolis Daily


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