Red light for green GDP

China's green GDP accounting system "hit a snag" on Friday, reported the People's Daily, when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) asked China's environmental watchdog not to release its latest results to the public.

Last September, the NBS and the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) jointly released the 2004 green GDP accounting report, which accounted for the impact of environmental degradation on the economy, amid much fanfare. The results for 2005 were planned to be released this month by SEPA.

But the year, the results would only be kept as a reference for policymakers, and not made public, said the People’s Daily.

"Experience has shown that both the theory and the methodology of green GDP accounting are not sophisticated enough," the NBS said in the letter obtained by China Daily. "There are lots of difficulties in the pilot project."

The country’s first green GDP report showed pollution caused losses of 511.8 billion yuan (US$64 billion) in 2004, or 3.05% of the 16 trillion yuan (US$2 trillion) GDP that year.

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