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Govt policy moves from past week

Zhang Yunbi
Updated: Aug 25,2021 09:13    China Daily

Restoration to speed up for degraded grassland

Despite making remarkable environmental progress, China still faces a dire situation with regards to the total size of its grasslands, officials said.

To resolve this, the nation will accelerate protection and restoration efforts on 5.3 million hectares of grassland during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

"Degraded grassland will be restored to improve the quality and stability of ecosystems," Tang Fanglin, an official with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said on Aug 20.

The protection and restoration of grassland have been a "challenging task", Tang said. Around 70 percent of it remains degraded to varying degrees.

According to an earlier plan, China aims to reach grassland vegetation coverage of about 57 percent by 2025.

The government will comprehensively strengthen the protection of grassland resources, promote recuperation, and fast-track restoration missions.

Moreover, the nation will improve the scientific utilization of grassland resources and promote the healthy development of related industries such as the grass-based husbandry and turf sectors.

As China pressed ahead with greening efforts over the past year, 2.83 million hectares of grassland have been improved. Desertification prevention and control work was also carried out on over 2.09 million hectares last year, official data showed.

Digital driver's licenses face nationwide rollout

Motorists' lives will become a bit easier once China fully rolls out its digital driver's license program nationwide by 2022.

Already, more than 1.95 million people have obtained digital driver's licenses since a pilot program was launched on June 1 in the cities of Tianjin, Chengdu in Sichuan province, and Suzhou in Jiangsu province, Li Guozhong, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, told a recent news conference.

Digital licenses can be used to deal with matters like resolving traffic violations and road accidents, filing insurance claims, and renting vehicles.

The licenses include digital signature anti-counterfeiting technology, which is safe and reliable and have the same legitimacy as physical licenses.

The ministry plans to expand the pilot program to cover more regions in the second half of this year. More efforts have been planned to improve the traffic information system and supporting institutions, Li said.

Drivers can apply for a digital license through an official mobile app, he added.

New energy vehicles to further penetrate market

The market penetration of new energy vehicles in China is set to increase as the economy steadily recovers and public awareness of environmental protection grows, the Ministry of Commerce said on Aug 19.

Earlier data showed that China's new energy vehicle sales hit a record high of nearly 1.48 million units in the first seven months of the year, surpassing total new energy vehicles sales last year.

The data accounted for 10 percent of new car sales during the period, up 6.1 percentage points year-on-year.

Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng attributed the strong growth to a slew of government efforts to spur consumption of green vehicles, including launching promotional activities in rural areas, easing purchase restrictions, and making charging and parking services more convenient.

New energy vehicle sales should sustain growth momentum, Gao noted.

China aims to raise the proportion of new energy vehicles to 20 percent of all new vehicles sold by 2025, according to a development plan for the new energy vehicle industry released last year.

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