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NDRC takes fight for green GDP to new level
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Three new national measures adopted by the State Council have elevated the country's energy conservation and emission reduction efforts to a new level.


As part of a unified statistical, monitoring and evaluation scheme, provincial officials and enterprise leaders face career-risking outcomes if they fail to meet their "green" targets under the new "strict accountability system".


The documents reiterate the country's will to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent and reduce major pollutant emissions by 10 percent. But unlike the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) that specified the aims as "major goals to be strived for", the new measures mandate both as "important compulsory indicators".


Each compulsory indicator "must be achieved by governments with all effective means," the deputy director-general of National Development and Reform Commission's (NDRC) development planning division, Xu Lin, said earlier. The NDRC posted the documents on its website (www.ndrc.gov.cn) on Monday.


The documents say small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the coal and electricity sectors have to set up statistical databases from next year. Also, the 1,000-odd big enterprises that use more than 10,000 tons of standard coal a year have to undergo thorough annual tests, along with all provincial-level governments.


Provincial and enterprise leaders have been placed on an evaluation sheet of 100 points. Provincial governments can earn 40 of those points by cutting the rate of energy consumption per 10,000 yuan ($1,354) of GDP. Enterprises can get the 40 points by cutting their emission.


The officials and corporations have to submit annually their energy efficiency targets following indicators outlined in the 11th Five-Year Plan, the documents say. A joint assessment team of the NDRC, the Ministry of Supervision, the Ministry of Personnel and a number of other departments will evaluate their performances.


To pass the entire assessment, a province or enterprise has to earn more than 20 points in this section, with the unsuccessful ones getting a failing grade.


Moreover, "failed" provinces will have to halt their pending high-consumption projects, streamline their actions, and their governments will face investigation.


Officials and enterprises that lie or try to conceal facts can face legal charges.


Despite significant progress, the energy conservation and emission reduction situation is still "quite severe", NDRC deputy chairman Xie Zhenhua said last week.


In the first three quarters of this year, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 3 percent year-on-year. But the figure last year was only 1.23 percent.


(China Daily December 6, 2007)

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