Under heavy pressure to harness rampant energy consumption,
China's top legislature on Wednesday began deliberating a draft
amendment to the law that suggests work carried out by local
government officials in energy conservation should be integrated
into the assessment of their political performance.
The draft amendment to the Law on Conserving Energy, tabled to
lawmakers for the second reading on Wednesday, bears several
revisions and changes in wording from the first reading in June
"The way in which energy saving goals are accomplished will be
made a part of the performance rating of local governments and
their leaders," says the draft amendment.
Local energy saving standards in the construction industry must
be stricter than those set by the central government and industrial
associations as energy saving on buildings is closely related to
the local geographic situation, according to the draft.
Relevant local standards "must be sent to the relevant cabinet
departments for the records," the draft added.
"Revising the current energy saving law is necessary and the
draft amendment is basically practicable," said the legal committee
under the National People's Congress in a written explanation.
Under a five-year plan to 2010, China pledged to cut energy
consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent,
or four percent each year. But, the consumption actually fell by
just 1.23 percent last year.
The draft, which almost doubles the articles of the original,
details measures to avoid energy waste, improve energy efficiency
and cut pollution emissions.
It says Chinese cities will gradually replace antiquated central
heating with modern household heating systems that can be
Official statistics show that construction accounted for 27.5
percent of China's total energy consumption in 2005, transportation
16.3 percent and government buildings 6.7 percent.
China has built 1.06 billion square meters of energy efficient
buildings, but the figure represents only seven percent of the
total floor space of existing buildings in urban China, statistics
from the Ministry of Construction show.
Other energy-saving measures include strict control of the
indoor temperature of public buildings and restrictions on
decorative lighting for large buildings.
The State Council, the cabinet, in early June issued a circular,
ordering the temperature of all air-conditioned public rooms in
government buildings to be kept at no lower than 26 degrees
The draft also says that the Chinese government encourages the
development, production, selling and use of
environmentally-friendly vehicles and new types of automobiles
propelled by new clean fuel, in an effort to save energy and cut
The draft amendment is likely to be put to the vote at the
(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2007)