The country should speed up resource tax reforms to fight pollution and make a priority of energy conservation to stave off problematic and risky dependence on overseas supplies, said Vice-Premier Li Keqiang.
China will not be able to wean itself off its traditional dependence on coal, though it faces growing pressures at home and abroad over its emissions of carbon gases from fossil fuels, Li told a group of government officials and environmental experts, reported the China Environment News, the official newspaper of the Environmental Protection Ministry.
"If we rely on the international market to satisfy our energy supplies, there are big risks and also big costs," said Li. "To ensure such large energy needs, we must both increase investment in energy development and also ensure the security of international and domestic energy supply routes, and that requires a major foreign policy effort."
"Therefore, energy-saving must always be a priority," said the Vice-Premier.
He said the government should focus on developing policies to ensure that "polluters pay."
"Establish an effective system of incentives and constraints so that law-abiding businesses gain economically and law-breaking businesses pay a heavy price," Li said. China would "accelerate resource fee and taxation reforms," he added.
By People's Daily Online