Home / Environment / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
China's 'chimney worship' to low-carbon trend
Adjust font size:

Small changes have taken place quietly, all over China.

Electric or petrol-electric hybrid buses have begun to run on several bus lines in Zhuzhou. City planners want all petrol or diesel-driven buses to be replaced by clean energy buses within three years.

Changsha, capital of Hunan, takes the lead among Chinese cities in using a computerized system to monitor the temperature in air-conditioned rooms in public buildings.

In a bid to save energy, the central government issued an order in 2007, asking that the room temperature in air-conditioned buildings in the public sector, including government offices, should not surpass 20 degrees centigrade in winter and not be lower than 26 degrees in summer.

A big flat screen hung on the wall of Lei Yun's office showing a Google map of Changsha, on which a dozen buildings are marked with red dots.

"These buildings are linked to our monitoring system. Through it we know the temperature of every room at any time," says Lei, deputy director of the Changsha Municipal Office for Energy Management.

"If all 400 public buildings in Changsha abide by the rule, a total of 23,000 tonnes of coal can be saved a year, which means cutting the emission of 57,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide," Lei says.

He admits that not everyone abides by the rule, and only a small number of buildings are being monitored at present. "But at least we have begun the action," he says.

In south China's Guangdong Province, Zhongshan Yida Apparel Ltd., which makes products for U.S. and Japanese cloth retailers, practices its low-carbon production in a unique way.

Instead of an electric central cooling system, the company has adopted a "water-curtain air-conditioner" at a garment-making workshop of some 400 workers. As about 20 big air pumps on one side of the workshop send out indoor air, fresh air comes in through the opposite side after it is cooled down and cleaned by a special paper filter curtain on which circulated water flows down.

"This system can help us save 90 percent of electricity. It's very significant since we're in sub-tropical Guangdong," says Frankie Wong, executive director of the Hong Kong-registered Crystal Group, the owner of Yida.

In vast open land in northern China's Xinjiang, Gansu and Inner Mongolia, arrays of wind mills are being built to generate electricity. China is currently the fourth largest wind power producer after the United States, Germany and Spain.

In his address on Tuesday, President Hu said China would vigorously develop renewable energy including wind and solar energy, as well as nuclear power.

"China will endeavor to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020 (from some seven percent at present)," he said.

On the very day of Hu's speech, a biomass power plant burning crop stalks went into operation in Changchun, capital of northeastern China's Jilin Province. This marks the start of a biomass power project of Huaneng, one of five largest power producers in China.

For Beijing resident Li Chunmei, the concept "low carbon" is more about everyday lifestyle changing.

"I have changed all the lights in my home into energy-saving bulbs, though they are a bit more expensive than normal ones," says the 63-year-old woman.

It is estimated that if all incandescent bulbs are changed into energy-saving lights in China, about 60 billion kilowatt hours of electricity will be saved per year.

Prof. He Jiankun with Tsinghua University says the change from "chimney worship" to a low-carbon lifestyle happens not because "going green is a fashion worldwide".

"We really need to be very concerned about energy security and the environmental challenges ahead of us, because China will continue to develop. From President Hu's speech, I can see the Chinese leadership is serious about sustainable development," he says.

"It's key to the future of not only of our country, but also our planet," he adds.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2009)

     1   2  

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- The Eco Design Fair 2009
- Environmental English Training (EET) class
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
World Fights A/H1N1 flu
The pandemic fear grips the world as the virus spreads from Mexico to the US, Europe and as far as China.
Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base