On January 29, the Central Environment Inspection Team (CEIT) presented the National Energy Administration (NEA) with the results of an inspection of NEA’s environmental protection work, which had been conducted with the approval of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCCCP) and the State Council (SC). The inspection report provided a detailed analysis of the problems in China’s energy sector and pointed out that NEA failed to fulfill the environmental protection requirements of the CCCCP and the SC, in areas such as clean energy security, energy structure adjustments and air pollution prevention and control.
Leading cadres of the NEA had diverged from prioritizing environmental protection, resulting in China’s energy sector developing without proper environmental regulation. Additionally, green policy promotion, planning guidance for the reduction of coal electricity production and the permission for the construction of major green energy projects was insufficient. Supervision of the energy industry was deemed ineffective and relevant approvals as well as gate-keeping work as not rigorous enough.
The CEIT demanded that NEA to fulfill its responsibility for environmental protection and submit a rectification plan to the Party Central Committee and the State Council within 30 working days. In response, the NEA acknowledged the problems laid out in the report and promised improvement in three key areas: Firstly, NEA aims to raise political awareness for the topic internally. Secondly, a rectification team headed by the secretariat of the NEA policy office is to be established. And thirdly, reform work is to be accelerated to achieve short- and medium-term improvements but also strengthen control and monitoring of long-term goals.