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Energy Conservation Law to Be Revised
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China's legislature is studying how to revise the country's energy conservation law to meet the goals of both economic development and energy conservation, a senior Chinese legislator said on Monday.

Li Tieying, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said that the current energy conservation law no longer meets the country's development needs.

Li said that changing the focus of economic development from energy and resources consumption to energy saving will have a profound effect on relations between people, society and nature.

The NPC Standing Committee enacted the Energy Conservation Law of China in November 1997. It governs the administration of energy, the proper use of energy resources, promotion of energy-saving technology and protection of the environment.

Research into the effectiveness and enforcement of the law is being conducted by the NPC Standing Committee, he said. The NPC Standing Committee also wants to revise the Energy Conservation Law to secure a strong legal framework for building an energy-saving society, he said.

Li called for the law and policies to encourage economic growth and energy conservation, noting that economic development that features high energy consumption which results in serious pollution and waste is not sustainable.

Li made the remarks at a seminar on energy conservation and legislation. Li noted that development can not only be concerned with the growth of the GDP, it must also be in harmony with nature.

According to a report released by the Development Research Center of the State Council, energy supply uncertainties can be effectively addressed with a comprehensive national energy policy that stresses energy efficiency, renewable energy and a more market oriented oil and gas sector.

China should more aggressively promote energy efficiency and commercialization of its national oil and gas companies by opening the sector to international oil companies. This will attract investment and needed new technologies, said the report.

The country should clarify the security-enhancing roles of both international and national companies. This could lead to the creation of a market-oriented, multi-source, robust national energy economy that would provide an important basis for security of supply, the report said.

The "right mix" of a specific security of supply measures should be selected according to China's needs from a suite of measures that includes: maintaining spare domestic production capability; protection of its import oil transport channels; accumulated reserves; allocation and possibly rationing systems to share scare supplies equitably; and close international cooperation with trading partners for whom secure oil supplies are essential for their economic well being and with energy exporters who have a similar interest in secure markets, the report stressed.

Recognizing the country's interdependence in the global energy sector and incorporating security of supply into the country's long term strategy could be the first steps on the road towards a stable energy supply, which is one of the pillars of sustainable development for the sector and the overall economy during the coming decades, the report said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2006)

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