Farmer lawmaker pushes for 'green' ideas

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 9, 2010
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Compared with some colleagues' motions on important state affairs, Chen Fei, a 55-year-old farmer lawmaker, came to the annual legislative session with a proposal on how an ID card can be eco-friendly.

"An ID card has information on both sides. When you want to photocopy it, you have to use the photocopy machine twice," he said.

He handed in a proposal that all key information should be printed on only one side of the card during the annual full session of the National People's Congress, the country's national legislature, which began on Friday.

"Some might think a tiny problem like this does not need attention at such an important session," he said. "But I think it is related to saving energy and reducing emission of greenhouse gases since there are plenty of occasions for everyone to photocopy his ID card."

He also proposed charging customers when they use disposable appliance at hotels.

In the past three years, all proposals Chen submitted as an NPC deputy were related to protecting the environment.

He is also well known for his environmental gestures, such as presenting bamboo baskets and handkerchiefs to fellow lawmakers at the annual session.

As a farmer in Yongjia of in eastern Zhejiang Province, Chen was elected deputy to the NPC in 2008.

In 2000, he was shocked to find trees in his rural hometown covered with plastic bags that had been blown up by a storm.

"They looked ugly. My son also told me that they were poisonous. I decided that I could not let it be," Chen said.

Since then, at his own expense, Chen has handed out bamboo baskets to people, hoping that they can stop using plastic shopping bags, first at local bazaars and later during the campaigns in big cities, including Shanghai and Beijing.

"Electing me as an NPC deputy is an indication itself that our country is more and more aware of environmental issues," he said.

While Chen continued handing out baskets and even managed to send some to the Copenhagen summit last year, the country banned the free use of plastic shopping bags in June 2008.

"Last year I made a proposal to continue the ban. Recently I received a feedback report from the Ministry of Commerce. Some of my advice has been taken," Chen said.

In 2009, the Chinese government pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emission intensity per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 against 2005 levels.

In the government work report submitted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the NPC session on Friday, there included various measures to improve energy efficiency, as well as build sewage plants and plant trees.

At this year's session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, media representatives can download manuals from the official website and notices are sent by e-mails and text messages on cell phones instead of using papers.

"Everyone can contribute to the great campaign of the country if he can take care of some tiny details in his daily life," Chen said.

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