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China Faces Pressure Achieving Energy-saving Goal
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China is under great pressure and facing many challenges if it hopes to achieve its goal of cutting by 20 percent the amount of energy it uses to produce a unit of GDP, according to an official of the State Council research center.


Energy consumption by industries and by people has soared since the beginning of the decade and the amount of energy used to create a unit of GDP remains 40 percent higher than in advanced countries, Feng Fei, director of the Industry Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council.


Last year China said it hoped to cut the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP by 20 percent by the end of the decade. This is aimed at making the country much more efficient in the use of energy.


Feng says, the output of high energy-consuming products surged in the first five years of the decade, with steel up 187 percent, cement up 79 percent and glass up 119 percent. The number of private cars in China jumped almost six fold in the first half of the decade. In the five years China's industrial sector energy consumption rose by an equivalent of 630 million tons of coal.


China also lags behind other countries when it comes to recycling, said Feng. Each year, the value of un-recycled materials is more than 30 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion).


Feng says to achieve its energy efficiency goals China should limit production in high energy-consuming sectors and slow down its economic growth to 7.5 percent. He also wants to see the government fund research on energy efficiency.


Government statistics show that in the first five years of the decade, the average annual growth in China's energy consumption was six percentage points higher than the country's economic growth rate which averaged just above 10 percent a year.


(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2007)

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