Beijing: As his government resorted to tough measures to control pollution, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has warned polluters that they will pay a price "too high to bear" for their illegal acts.
All businesses involved in illegal production and emission, no matter what kind of business they are, will be brought to justice and held accountable, Li said addressing questions at his annual press conference on the side-lines of the legislature, the National People's Congress, (NPC).
"We need to make the cost for doing so too high to bear," he said replying to a question on whether two Chinese state owned oil giants, Sinopec and Petro China, have obstructed the implementation of environment policies in the country.
Last year Li said his government would declare a war on pollution which ranked China as the world's biggest polluter of greenhouse gases along with United States.
Li said the government will focus this year on fully implementing the newly-revised Environmental Protection Law.
More support will be given to environmental law enforcement departments including capacity building, he said.
"No one should use his power to meddle with law enforcement in this regard," he said.
However, he stressed that the law enforcement departments should also have the courage to take charge and fulfil their duty while nonfeasance will be held accountable and abuse of power and breach of duty will be punished.
The law must work as a powerful, effective tool to control pollution instead of being "as soft as cotton candy," he said.
In his annual government work report delivered at the NPC on March 5, Li said his government plans to reduce energy intensity, or units of energy per unit of GDP, by 3.1 per cent in 2015.
Although the government has made tremendous efforts in tackling pollution, Li said the progress still falls short of people's expectation.
Unlike previous years, the targets for energy conservation and emission reduction are placed in a more prominent position in this year's government work report.
Chinese government will also cut the intensity of carbon dioxide by at least 3.1 per cent, reduce both chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions by around 2 per cent, and reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by around 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
The policies to improve economic structure and fuel quality will also contribute to pollution control, he said.
In Li's government work report, China will upgrade coal-burning power plants to achieve ultra-low emissions and strive for zero-growth in the consumption of coal in heavily-polluted areas.
The country will promote the use of new-energy vehicles, reduce vehicle exhaust emissions, raise the national fuel quality standard, and provide motor gasoline and diesel fuel of higher quality.
All highly polluted vehicles registered before 2005 will be banned from the road.
"This is a joint effort of the whole society. It may be difficult for one to change natural environment he lives in anytime soon but one can always change the way he behaves," he said.