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China's Drop in Energy Use
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Energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) value in China dropped for the first time in three years from the third quarter of 2006, said the central economic planning body.

"The government's efforts to reduce energy consumption produced relatively good results but they were still far from the original target," said Han Yongwen, secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission, during an online interview on Tuesday. He didn't disclose the specific margin of energy reduction.

Amid mounting concern over energy demand and environmental pollution brought about by high consumption the government planned to cut energy use per unit of GDP value by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010 and by 4 percent in 2006.

However, the energy consumption per unit of GDP rose 0.8 percent instead of declining in the first half of 2006 and leaves the government an even more difficult task.

Han attributed the rise to the high proportion of heavy industry in the economic structure, the design of economic growth relying on scale and a time-lapse between policies being agreed and the difference they can make. 

The government has set energy saving and pollution reduction as its primary tasks in restructuring the national economy after the central economic work conference held last December. "We'll make utmost efforts with utmost determination to ensure the targets are met," said Han.

(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2007)

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