Based on data available up to December 2006, the OECD report examines progress made by China since 1990 and evaluates the extent to which the country's domestic objectives and international commitments are being met. Some 51 specific recommendations, covering institutional improvement, administrative tools, and market-based instrument, address China's environmental performance.
This report names an implementation gap as the top challenge and cause for China's failure to meet its environmental targets. This gap led to ineffectiveness and inefficiency in China's efforts to develop policies, regulations, and economic instruments (e.g. pollution charges, use charges, emissions trading).
OECD's five recommendations for the general capacity of environmental regulation prioritizes the strengthening of implementation capacity nationwide: implement environmental laws and regulations for products and industrial /energy facilities and strengthen monitoring, inspection and enforcement capabilities throughout the country, including through the independence of the enforcement functions of Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs).
Other recommendations related to institutional reform include: (1) elevating SEPA to a ministry; (2) establishing SEPA抯 supervisory capacity over local government and EPBs; (3) establishing a Leading Group on comprehensive environmental or sustainable development; and (4) holding local government officials accountable for environmental performance.