China to set up 'lifelong accountability' system for officials

China will set up an official accountability system as it steps up efforts to promote ecological protection, according to a guideline issued on Tuesday by the central government.

Officials who fail to meet requirements and contribute to environmental damage will be put on record and subject to a lifelong accountability system. That means they will not be appointed to other important positions or promoted, and they will be held responsible for damages even if they have left office.

Resource consumption, environmental damage and ecological benefits will be included in a comprehensive assessment system for economic and social development, according to the guideline. An audit of natural resource assets and environmental responsibilities will also be implemented when officials leave their posts.

China’s ecological environment still lags behind its economic and social development, the document says. China’s sustainable development faces a bottleneck of limited resources, severe environmental pollution, ecosystem degradation, and conflicts between development and population, resources and environment.

Therefore, the country will adhere to the policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, giving top priority to the ecological environment and pursuing green, sustainable and low carbon development, it adds.

China aims to make the state of its ecological environment equitable to the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by 2020.

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