China on target to achieve green goals

13:51, October 05, 2010      

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China needs to cut its energy consumption per unit of GDP by 5 percent this year and the target is "within reach", China's top climate official said on Monday.

As part of Beijing's efforts to tackle climate change, the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) set the goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent in 2010 compared to 2005.

"We only achieved a cut of 15.6 percent by the end of 2009, so we have to cut the remaining 5 percent this year to reach our target," Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference during the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Tianjin.

"It's very challenging to further cut energy use and reach the set goal," Xie said.

Eighteen municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions are on track to meet the target, while six to seven other provincial-level administrative areas have encountered obstacles, he said.

"It's a legally binding target. To meet it, we have to adopt active measures, including phasing out obsolete equipment and upgrading facilities," he added.

State Councilor Dai Bingguo said at the opening session of the Tianjin conference that China will adopt further policies to make its contribution to the fight against global climate change.

Dai said China will achieve its goal by restructuring the economy, conserving energy and improving the efficiency of its use. He also pledged that the country will develop renewable energy and increase carbon sinks in forests.

In November 2009, China announced that it would reduce carbon intensity - carbon emissions per unit of GDP - by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from its level in 2005.

Apart from energy consumption per unit of GDP, China has already met or exceeded targets set in its 11th Five-Year Plan to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption along with increased forest coverage, according to Xie.

"China is in the process of mapping its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), which will include concrete action. We expect new domestic measures and financial input during the next five years," said Yang Ailun, climate and energy campaign manager for Greenpeace China.

While China is producing more greenhouse gas emissions in the world, it is one of the most proactive countries in terms of supporting green growth, said Stanley So, manager of Oxfam Hong Kong's Economic Justice Campaign.

China was the world leader in green investment in 2009, with one-third of the country's economic stimulus package ($221 billion) spent on infrastructure in an effort to improve energy efficiency, he added.

Source: China Daily


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