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Beijing Launches Energy Saving Campaign

The Beijing municipal government yesterday released a long-term guideline on energy conservation that runs up to 2010. The program is the first of its kind in Beijing.

Chai Xiaozhong, vice-director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, said that the city imports most of its energy supplies from other provinces and regions; 100 percent of natural gas and petroleum, 95 percent of coal, 70 percent of power and 80 percent of gasoline.

The city's total energy consumption last year was equal to energy generated by 51 million tons of standard coal, representing an 11.3 percent year-on-year increase, and the fastest rate of growth since 2000.

Chai said the city would try to reduce its energy consumption in its economic development process, which is measured by the amount of standard coal consumed for every 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) of gross domestic product (GDP).

Last year, the city used 1.3 tons of standard coal to generate 10,000 yuan of GDP, three times more than that of the United States, said Chai.

The city will cut the figure down to 0.89 ton by 2010, according to the guideline.

And in 2010, the measure of water consumption for every 10,000 yuan of GDP will not exceed 53 cubic meters. The figure was 81 cubic meters last year.

To meet these goals, the city will not only work out relevant regulations and educate the public to save energy, but also set up special supervision institutions and subsidize the research and development of energy-saving devices and techniques, said Chai.

"Besides low energy consumption, making full use of resources is another important point to build a recycling economy," said Chai.

He said the city would build three recycled water plants, four garbage disposal factories and four special power plants that use rubbish as fuel later this year.

Around 100 kilometers of recycled water pipeline will be laid in the urban areas and the city will use 250 million cubic meters of this moderately treated sewage water later this year.

And when the total eight garbage-recycling plants are built, more than 1.7 million tons of garbage, accounting for 40 percent of the city's total garbage produced annually, will be disposed of or burned as fuel rather than merely thrown into landfills. It is expected that 600 million kilowatt-hours of power will be generated annually through this method.

The city will also carry out several recycling programmes to reuse old electrical appliances, automobiles, tyres, plastics and paper, said Chai.

Zhang Mao, vice-mayor of Beijing, said the resources shortage has created a bottleneck in the city's pace of economic development.

"Transforming the economy into a recycling and sustainable one is vital for the city," said Zhang.

(China Daily June 7, 2005)

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