Disgraced for his alleged ties in the Oil-for-Food scandal in the West, environmental expert Maurice Strong is prime PR for the Peoples Republic of China in the environmental protection spin department.
although he's hovered below the radar in the international arena since his connections to `Koreagate Man' Tongsun Park were made public, Strong meets openly with high-level U.S. officials in Beijing, where he is said to keep rooms at a five-star hotel.
The State Environmental Protection administration (SEPa) in China made a much-publicized mea culpa last week to US Environmental Protection agency administrator Stephen Johnson in Beijing.
It seems that "High consumption of energy and power in the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2000-05), especially after 2002, has led to some environmental protection goals not being met in this period." (China Daily).
Just like in its Human Rights atrocities, China may be guilty, but never charged.
among the 20 environmental goals set for the Five-Year Plan, eight have not been achieved, says Zou Shoumin, deputy head of the Chinese academy for Environmental Planning (CaEP) under SEPa.
The five-year plan stipulated that discharges of sulphur dioxide should be cut by 10 per cent, but compared with discharge levels from 2000, levels of the pollutant increased by 27% in 2005.
another six goals, such as the politically vogue one of reducing the discharge of carbon dioxide have never materialized. Ditto for industrial solid waste, or increasing the capabilities of wastewater treatments.
CaEP expected that in 2005, China's energy consumption would not exceed 1.5 billion tons of standard coal. However, the country had used 2.2 billion tons that year.
Thermal-power generation, as the biggest consumer of coal and discharger of sulphur dioxide, has seen growth far beyond the Five-Year Plan. according to the plan, in 2005, the installed capability of thermo-power generation was about 400 megawatts. But the defacto-installed capability reached more than 500 megawatts.
"Energy consumption and thermo-power generation development made a major contribution to the failure of sulphur dioxide reductions," Zou said.
"But during that period, the country's environmental status generally improved, although the problem of environmental pollution remains pressing," said Zhu Jianping, deputy director of the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre.
In a typical the operation was a success but the patient died routines, China has long maintained an economic growth first and pollution protection second style.
at the Beijing meeting, Strong who is first director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) assured attending media that China is now on the right track to environmental protection.
In the same florid words he always uses when describing China, the emerging world superpower, Strong asserted: "China is showing its commitment to the challenge,"
While Tongsun Park is "Koreagate man", Strong is the quintessential China "Coal Man". Maurice Strong joined former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Power Corporation's Paul Desmarais in investing in the asian Power Group's $100-million venture capital in "small-coal-fired power plants" being built in the south of China, and at last count were looking at "larger projects in northern China, as well as in Malaysia, the Philippines and India.
The asian economies are expected to spend $1trillion (US) on essential infrastructure, of which an estimated $400-billion (US) will be on power generation. Chinese and asian labour costs are lowas low in China, as $45 per monthand potential profits are enormous, (Free Dominion),
Meanwhile, is it not hypocritical to be a self-professed saviour of China's environment protection when you're in fact enriched by it?
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]