China struggling to meet emission targets: minister

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Although China has made great efforts in cutting emissions and energy use, it still faces serious challenges due to its development pattern and poor technology, the top economic planner said on Monday.

"Some areas and departments have paid inadequate attention to the issue, and the development pattern is still extensive rather than intensive. In addition, we need a stronger policy mechanism," Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said in a report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature.

According to Xu, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP in 2013 has dropped by 9.03 percent and 10.68 percent, respectively, from the level of 2010. But this is still far from the preset targets.

China has targets for emission cuts and energy saving in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), under which energy consumption per unit of GDP should decrease by 16 percent and carbon dioxide emission should drop by 17 percent from the level of 2010.

Xu noted that coal accounted for 65.9 percent of total energy consumption in 2013, and outdated technology is still used in some areas, increasing energy consumption intensity and pollutant discharges.

He said that 320 million tons of standard coal should be saved in the 2014-2015 period in a bid to achieve the targets of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

He called for a strengthened target-oriented responsibility system, controlling the increment of energy consumption, strengthened structural adjustment and pollution control.

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