Six Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGO) launched an energy-saving campaign in Beijing Saturday to urge people throughout the country to set the temperature of their air conditioners above 26 degrees centigrade in the summer.
The "26-degree Campaign" was initiated jointly by Global Village of Beijing, World Wide Foundation for Nature in China, China Association for NGO Cooperation, Friends of Nature, Institute of Environment and Development and Green Earth Volunteers.
They urged the government departments at all levels to set examples to all people in response to the campaign while working out relevant policies as well and called all organizations, enterprises and citizens to give active responses to the campaign so as to save energy and relieve the electric power shortage.
In the following 180 days, the six NGOs' volunteers will undertake the campaign around public places including hotels, shopping malls and office buildings by asking people to set the temperature of their air conditioners above 26 degrees centigrade, according to Liao Xiaoyi, creator of the Global Village of Beijing.
By the end of this campaign, the organizers will try to find out how much energy will have been saved, Liao said.
China may be facing the most severe power shortage since the 1980s, with a gap of 30 million kilowatts between electricity demand and supply this summer, according to General Manager Zhao Xizheng of the State Power Grid Company.
A total of 24 provincial areas imposed power brownouts in the past few months.
The temperature is usually set on 24 to 26 degrees centigrade. If it is up two more degrees, 400 to 600 million kilowatts or two to three billion yuan can be saved in Beijing only while 160,000 to 250,000 tons of coal can be saved, according to the organizers of the campaign. That means to reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide by 2400 to 3500 tons and carbon dioxide by 350,000 to 550,000 tons, they added.
The campaign has gained support from the State Environmental Protection Administration of China and the United Nations Environment Program while more than 30 NGOs all over the country have responded to the campaign.
(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2004)