Experts and officials at a high-profile environment forum agreed that the government should map out a strategy for harmonious development of economy, energy and environment for the realization of sustainable development in China.
The forum, the Jiuzhai Paradise International Environment Forum, sponsored by the All-China Environment Federation (ACEF), was held in Jiuzhaigou, Aba Tibet and Qiang Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province.
After the forum, the ACEF summarized and conducted in-depth research on the opinions and suggestions offered by the participants and put together a proposal for the nation's energy and environment development.
This was submitted to related government bodies, such as China's environment watchdog State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and top economic planner National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
In the proposal, the ACEF emphasized that the nation should further take into consideration of the economy, energy and environment and roll out a strategy for their coordinated development.
Currently, multiple layers of government bodies are responsible for administration of the nation's energy resources and these related entities have different requirements for the production and consumption of energy, the proposal said.
This leads to relatively loose and separate laws and regulations in the sector and some of them are even overlapping and contradictory, according to the proposal.
Furthermore, the situation increases the difficulties in controlling environment pollution and leads to more energy consumption.
Experts feel that a scientific, comprehensive and consistent strategy for the sector's development is a prerequisite for China's sustainable development.
Building an energy-efficient and more environment-conscious society with fast-growing economy is the core of harmonious development between man and nature, the proposal pointed out.
The ACEF suggested that related government bodies including the SEPA jointly work on the strategy for the next 15 years.
In the strategy, the ACEF said that "smokeless energy" such as nuclear energy, hydropower, wind, solar and biological power as well as terrestrial heat should be placed as a priority.
The consumption of coal and petroleum should be reduced substantially.
To this end, detailed objectives, time limits and responsible government bodies should be clearly listed in the strategy.
As for the nation's target that by 2010, the energy consumption per unit of the gross domestic product (GDP) should be reduced by 20 per cent compared to the 10th-Five Year Plan period (2001-05), the ACEF noted, government bodies should shoulder responsibilities of administration and supervision of target execution.
They should reveal an exact timetable of its implementation.
Also, supervision should be substantially enhanced, and revision over related work should be timely and relevant.
Experts at the forum suggested the nation gradually increase the standard for pollutant discharge, abolish the production subsidy for high energy-consumption products, lessen energy cost and guide market practice of enterprises to push their businesses towards environment consciousness.
They said the nation should encourage and supervise enterprises to disclose environment information, ensure production and management efficiency, reduce energy consumption and impact on environment and pay more attention to health and living conditions of their staff members and citizens in the community.
Marco Andreozzi from the Territory Environment Department of Italy, suggested different provinces research their potential for renewable energy and present power networks and overview their energy plan.
Based on the energy consumption requirements, they can then set out their new energy and environment strategy for the next 10 years.
Speakers on the environment and energy strategy issues at the Jiuzhai Paradise International Environment Forum included Zhou Dadi, director of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, Zhao Xizheng, executive director of the China Electricity Council, Wang Xianzheng, vice-minister of the State Administration of Work Safety, Frank Murray, dean of Graduate Studies of the Murdoch University in Australia, Wang Jinnan, chief engineer of the Planning and Design Institute of the SEPA, Zhou Weisheng, professor of the Ritsumeikan University in Japan, Chai Hefa, chief climate environment expert at the China Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Zhan Kun, vice-director of the Safety and Environmental Protection Bureau of the Sinopec, Marco Andreozzi, researcher at the Territory Environment Department of Italy and Yu Cong, researcher of the Energy Research Institute of the NDRC.
(China Daily January 23, 2006)