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Chinese Government Praises NGOs' Role in Making Environment-friendly Policies

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaging in environmental protection have been hailed as important players in making environment-friendly policies, a Chinese government official said in Beijing on Tuesday.

Zhou Jian, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, appraised the role of NGOs in China's environmental protection at an annual conference of Chinese NGOs opened in Beijing.

Currently, there are over 2,700 environmental protection NGOs, which act as the bridge between government and people.

In 2004, Global Village of Beijing, an NGO in Beijing called on companies which used air conditioners in summer to set the temperature no lower than 26 degrees Celsius so as to save energy.

The move has gradually expanded its influence and the State Council, the cabinet, in early June issued a circular, ordering the temperature of all air-conditioned public rooms in government buildings to be kept at no lower than 26 degrees Celsius.

Zhou said "NGOs have close ties with people and can mobilize the public to participate in environmental protection activities."

"NGOs have become an important social force in promoting China's environmental protection and acted as advisers to the government," he said.

During the two-day conference, the NGOs will discuss topics including how to mobilize more people to join in environmental protection; how to reach the target set for energy saving and pollution control; the interactive role between government, banks and NGOs in a green credit policy, which ensures polluting firms are barred from obtaining credit from the banking system until they have cleaned up their act.

Zhou encouraged the NGOs to mobilize more people to participate in China's environmental protection in the future.

(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2007)

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