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Energy and Environment Program Launched

A 42.9 million-euro Energy and Environment Program was launched jointly by China and the European Union on Wednesday.


The five-year initiative was planned by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and a delegation from the European Commission and involves projects on energy saving as well as the development of renewable energy and natural gas.


The program aims to improve China's energy efficiency and environmental quality, fuelled by policy discussions, exchange visits, personnel training and technology exchanges. The EU is contributing 20 million euros with the rest of the budget coming from China.


China ranks second in world energy consumption levels and its energy efficiency stands at around 33 percent, 10 percentage points lower than that of developed countries, said Zhao Jiarong, director of the NDRC's Department of Environment Resources Conservation.


In 2003 energy consumption in China reached 1.68 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, 11 percent of total world consumption. Of this, 67.2 percent was from coal, 22.7 percent from crude oil, 2.8 percent natural gas and 7.3 percent renewable energy.


Zhao said the introduction of the program is expected to draw energy-saving experience from members of the EU and promote sustainable development in China.


(Xinhua News Agency November 4, 2004)

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