An official with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday refuted suggestions in Wednesday's Financial Times that China was to abandon the plan to link gross domestic product (GDP) with the environmental situation on account of calculating difficulties.

"We are still working hard on the calculation system and have never spoken about 'giving up' on it," the official, who refused to be named, told China Daily yesterday.

She did however admit that it is a complicated task to calculate green GDP, an amendment to GDP that deducts the cost of environmental damage and resource depletion caused by economic development. In co-operation with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the bureau has been busy with green GDP pilot projects in 10 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Tianjin, the official said.

Experts said that no country in the world has found a solution to the challenge, even though the concept has been commonly spoken of for more than three decades. "There is no sign that China will find a reliable and accurate solution, at least in the near future," said Zhang Jianyu, an environment expert with US-based Environmental Defence.