Beijing has stopped calculating the environmental cost of China’s economic growth, the South China Morning Post reported. Environmental vice-minister Pan Yue said on the sidelines of the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that "the green GDP project has been cancelled" for an indefinite length of time. The "green GDP" project deducted the economic consequences of environmental damage from gross domestic product figures. But the project proved unpopular with local officials and was put on hold since early 2007. Pan’s announcement was accompanied by pledges from top leaders that the RMB4 trillion (US$584 billion) stimulus package would not exacerbate environmental problems. Analysts said the announcement marks an official retreat in Beijing’s campaign to cut energy use and pollution, which came after the government promised to combat climate change together with Washington during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit.
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