Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan has told government departments to set an example in saving energy and reducing pollution by using less water, electricity and paper.
By 2010, the energy consumption of government agencies, by floor space and head count, should be cut by at least 20 percent from the 2005 level, Zeng told a meeting on energy saving on Monday.
The vice-premier ordered government departments to exert "strict control" on the scale of office buildings, renovate existing buildings to make them more energy-efficient, and to promote the use of energy-saving technologies.
Zeng stressed that all central government bodies must promote the use of "economic, energy-saving, environmentally friendly and home-made" automobiles and ban the private use of official cars.
He also said that government departments should be economical in using stationery and holding meetings, and he urged improvement in government procurement of energy-efficient products.
Government departments and public places in China have been asked to set air conditioners at or above 26 degrees Celsius during this coming summer, with heaters at no warmer than 20 degrees Celsius in winter.
According to the Government Offices Administration of the State Council, government office buildings nationwide achieved declines of 12 percent and 19 percent in per capita electricity consumption and water use, respectively, in 2006. Adjusted for inflation, the expense per head declined by 5.8 percent to 203 yuan (US$27.4).
Meanwhile, the administration ordered managers to buy energy-efficient equipment and products worth up to 1.1 billion yuan last year.
Even the Great Hall of the People has gotten involved. Located on the western edge of Tiananmen Square, the landmark building's consumption of electricity, water and gas was reduced by 4 percent, 14 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in 2006 compared with 2005.
China has vowed to reduce national energy intensity by 20 percent and major emissions by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2007)