China aims for greener economy over next 5 years

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 4, 2011
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Greater use of clean and renewable fuels is part of the government's efforts to promote energy saving and environmental protection as the country's economic success has come with steep costs: unsustainable growth and pollution.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Feb. 27 that the government must not sacrifice the environment for the sake of rapid growth any longer.

Therefore, China has set its annual economic growth target at 7 percent during the five years to 2015, lower than the 7.5 percent goal set for the 2006-2010 period, Wen added.

Wen also said that China aimed to cut the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions needed for every unit of gross domestic product by 16 to 17 percent from this year to the end of 2015.

That is a step further toward the government's goal of 40 to 45 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2020, relative to 2005 levels.

Zhang said the two goals will be included as mandatory in the new five-year plan, which will also demand higher energy efficiency.

The government will also impose a cap on its total energy consumption at 4 billion tonnes of coal equivalent by 2015, compared with 3.2 billion tonnes consumed last year, he said.

That meant the five-year period will see an average annual increase of 4.24 percent in energy use.

"The task of energy conservation and emission cuts is arduous," he said, as he compared the growth of energy use with the 7 percent of annual economic expansion set by the central government during the five years to 2015.

Furthermore, he said that energy security is also a significant job through the five years when China will increase strategic reserves of oil and gas, while constructing storage bases for natural gas and coal.

He warned of risks to energy security as the recent turmoil in the Middle East has driven up international oil prices.

"Oil security is the most important part of achieving energy security," he said, adding that "preparations for alternative energies should be made as soon as possible."

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