The country's top legislature is expected to complete its
amendment to the Energy Conservation Law by the end of the year, in
a bid to create an energy-saving society, a top official said
Xu Dingming, vice-chairman of the Office of the National Energy
Leading Group, said that China's rapid economic development had led
to a situation where conserving energy and improving energy
efficiency was now a priority.
"Against this backdrop, the National People's Congress (NPC)
Standing Committee is busy amending the current Energy Conservation
Law to make it more in tune with economic growth and energy
efficiency," he said at the China Oil and Gas Summit 2007
Han Wenke, director of the Energy Research Institute under the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the current
Energy Conservation Law, which was enacted in January 1998, should
be updated to reflect the new economic perspective.
"New developments within the energy market over recent years
have made the existing Energy Conservation Law outdated. Its aim is
to curb consumption and promote efficiency and that is why we have
to revise it to suit the current conditions," Han said.
He also said the obligations of governments and enterprise
should be better regulated and clarified.
"One of the focuses of the revision should be clarifying
governments' and enterprises' obligations regarding reducing energy
consumption. What governments and companies are expected to do
should be more clearly addressed," Han said.
According to Xu, China's energy consumption in 2006 was up 9.3
percent year on year, while energy output grew by 7.2 percent on
2005. The figures demonstrate an obvious imbalance between output
and consumption, he said.
China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product
(GDP) fell 1.23 percent year on year in 2006, the first annual
decline since 2003. But this was still below the government's
target of 4 percent. China is determined to cut energy consumption
per unit of GDP by 20 percent, equivalent to 4 percent each year,
during the country's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).
These points demonstrate the importance of having legal support
for energy conservation, Han said.
In 1997, the NPC Standing Committee enacted the Energy
Conservation Law, which governs energy administration, the proper
use of energy resources, promotion of energy-saving technology and
Revising the law began last year, at which time the Xinhua News
Agency quoted Li Tieying, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing
Committee, as saying that the law no longer met China's development
Li said the NPC Standing Committee intended to revise the Energy
Conservation Law to maintain a strong legal framework for building
an energy-efficient society, Xinhua reported.
(China Daily March 23, 2007)