China sets higher goals for energy use, gas emissions

16:16, March 28, 2011      

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China will reduce its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions more drastically than prior planned in the coming five years beginning 2011 in order to sustain its economic growth at lower environmental cost.

Compulsory targets for the 18 percent cuts of energy consumption for per unit of industrial output, the minimum reduction of 18 percent for carbon dioxide emission and 30 percent slash of water consumption, as well as a increasing the utilization of industrial solid wastes to 72 percent by 2015 from the level of the end of 2010, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Su Bo, vice minister of MIIT, said on Monday at a meeting in Nanjing that those reduction targets are higher than what had been proposed previously and would be likely to be included in the industrial upgrading plan which is being drafted by MIIT now.

The three reduction targets for 2011 are 4 percent, more than 4 percent and 7 percent, respectively, while a 2.2 percentage points of increase is expected in the use of industrial solid wastes.

Zhou Changyi, head of the department responsible for policy making of energy efficiency, described those commitments as something “attainable if sufficient efforts are made”. “Industry should play the leading role in energy saving and emission reduction as it is the area where energy consumption and pollutant emission mainly take place. It is difficult to get the whole industry motivated to engage in that course if targets are too soft,” he said.

Su Bo stressed that the key to fulfill the targets include the industrial restructuring, technical upgrading and better management of energy efficiency of enterprises.

Zhou Changyi urged local governments to set their targets of energy consumption cuts for per unit industrial output this year. The MIIT will not impose quantitative standards for local governments, but will step up supervision over energy-intensive enterprises.

During the last five years till 2010, China’s per unit industrial output costs 26 percent less energy in aggregate than the level in 2005 as a result of the annual decrease of 5.8 percent. That means China saved 750 million tons of standard coal equivalent, a measurement of energy consumption during that period and supported its 12 percent annual growth of industrial output with 7 percent of annual energy consumption increase.

By Li Jia, People's Daily Online

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