China faces an environmental crisis unless it tempers its industrial growth with an environmental agenda and embarks on a "green rise", Pan Yue, a top environmental official announced, according to state media. China's levels of pollution are much higher than the levels of countries at similar stages of economic development. Since 1949, the land suitable for human habitation has shrunk from 6m sq km to 3m sq km, due to soil erosion. China is No 1 in terms of daily water consumption and sewage discharge, No 2 in energy consumption and carbon dioxide discharge, and at the current pace the pollution load will quadruple by 2020. Pan questioned whether China should be proud it has become the "world's factory".
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