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"Hot" day for officials in S China's Guangdong
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16:50, June 16, 2009

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Government officials in southern China's Guangdong province decided to spend a literally "hot" day Tuesday in as energy consumption, including the use of air conditioners, was reduced on so-called "energy-shortfall day".

Officials at all levels had to take public transport to work, minimize power consumption by shutting off some elevators, air conditioning and lighting, and reduce paper consumption for the whole day.

"The campaign aims to let government officials feel for themselves how inconvenient life and work will be when energy is in short supply," Yang Jianchu, director of the provincial economy and trade commission of Guangdong, which launched the campaign, was quoted as saying by Tuesday's China Daily.

"This way they will sharpen their awareness of energy use and set an example for others in regards to saving energy."

As a next step, government vehicles, unless for official purposes, will be taken off the road one day per week according to the last digit of their registration numbers.

Many officials in the provincial capital of Guangzhou support the campaign.

Zhou Weixiong, an official with the provincial cultural department, said his department has planned for the campaign and each official will take the bus or metro, ride a bike or walk to work.

"We will use secondhand envelopes instead of new ones for the internal delivery of documents tomorrow," he said.

"As a matter of fact, we have developed a habit of saving stationery and cutting power consumption at our office," said Liang Tianfen, an official with the provincial construction department.

"In my eyes, it's always meaningful to make people conscious of the urgency and importance of saving energy by any means," she said. However, many citizens in Guangzhou are suspicious of the effect of the campaign.


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