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Chinese officials suspected of faking pollution statistics to meet clean air targets

Chinese officials suspected of faking pollution statistics to meet clean air targets

China's environmental watchdog is investigating whether local officials submitted fake pollution data to the central government after failing to meet annual clean air targets, state media said Thursday.
The State Environmental Protection Administration, or SEPA, calculated that in 2006 emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide nationwide rose two percent. However, according to figures submitted by 26 regional governments, emissions of the same two pollutants were reduced by two percent, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Chinese cities are among the world's smoggiest following two decades of breakneck economic growth.
The figures submitted by regional governments matched up with clean air targets set by the central government for the year. Chinese leaders said in March that they would start taking energy efficiency and environmental achievements into account when evaluating local leaders' performance in a bid to improve China's severely polluted air and water.
A SEPA official whose name was not given was quoted as saying that the "inaccurate figures were caused by insufficient supervision of the local governments and possible fabrication."
The administration is sending working groups to the provinces to check the local environmental statistics, it said.
The report did not say which provinces or regions were suspected of submitting fake data or explain how SEPA had independent data for all of the regions.


Updated : 2021-03-04 02:37 GMT+08:00