China to make polluters pay for damage caused

BEIJING China plans to roll out nationwide by 2020 a system that forces polluters to repair damage to the environment or pay compensation, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Sunday.

The move, which extends a scheme already piloted in seven provinces, marks the latest step in a crackdown on pollution that has been ramped up by the government this year.

China aims to establish a comprehensive damage-compensation system to protect its environment in the next three years, Xinhua reported, citing a document issued on Sunday by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

Individuals or companies that cause environmental damage will have to help restore the environment or pay compensation if damage is beyond repair, Xinhua reported.

The penalties are aimed at tightening oversight of land, water and air pollution, and holding companies accountable for the clean-up costs and restoring the ecological balance after major accidents. - REUTERS