Environmental pollution costs China an estimated 10% of GDP every year, according to a white paper released by the State Council Information Office to mark World Environment Day. Launching the white paper, Zhu Guangyao, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, the country's top environmental watchdog, said the estimate was two percentage points higher than an estimate made in the mid-1990s. Zhu said the central government had focused on tackling environmental problems and had a detailed clean-up plan for the next five years. He added the environment was playing an increasingly important role in the government's attempts to cool the economy.
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