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Gov't offices urged to save energy
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-03 23:06:44

    BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on government departments to adjust the temperature of air conditioners in offices higher during summer to set an example for the whole society in saving energy resources.

    "Government organs all over the country should take strict power-saving measures. In summer, the temperature of air conditioners must not be set at lower than 26 degrees Celsius in offices and meeting rooms," said Wen at a national teleconference on June 30.

    In his speech on building a resources-saving society, Wen encouraged government officials to wear plain clothes instead of Western-style suits and neckties to attend internal meetings and other less important official activities, which is believed favorable to keep air conditioners from overwork.

    Power wasting, such as government buildings with lights on even in daytime or throughout the night, should be prohibited. Public servants are required to turn off lights when there is nobody in the office, he said.

    China has sensed the increasing strain on energies, minerals, water, land and other natural resources, which lay the foundation to guarantee the sustainable economic and social development.

    "We have made tremendous achievements in economic and social development, but at a high cost of resources and the environment,"Wen said, adding that China's extensive economic growth mode has resulted in not only huge waste of resources but also heavy pollution.

    The reckless expansion of cities, blind pursuit of large-emission automobiles capacious residential apartments and luxurious packages for some products, which are quite common in some cities, have intensified the conflict between the supply and demand of resources and environmental pollution.

    Currently, China's consumption of energy resources, raw materials and water for per unit of GDP (gross domestic product) is far beyond the world's average level.

    "This has resulted in a growing dependence on the import of some important minerals from foreign countries," Wen said.

    The central authorities have made it clear that efforts must be made to build a resources-saving society in China, which calls for the effective protection and rational utilization of natural resources and improvement in resources utilization in every aspect of production, construction, logistics and consumption, so as to produce the maximum economic and social benefits at the lowest possible cost.

    "This (building a resources-saving society) has a bearing on China's economic and social progress and the prosperity of the Chinese nation, and is a policy of strategic importance concerning the overall situation," the premier said.

    Wen described China's basic national conditions as a big population with comparative inadequacy in resources and a weak supportability of the environment. The population will be growing and the Chinese people will have less resources to use on average,especially freshwater and arable land.

    So China must quicken the pace in building a resources-saving society, and this also is the logical requirement for the national endeavor to follow the scientific concept of development the Communist Party of China has put forward to direct the country's modernization drive.

    The scientific concept of development asks for handling well relations among economic development, population growth, resources utilization and environmental protection.

    "While promoting economic growth, we must strengthen environmental protection and improvement so that our people can drink clean water, breathe fresh air, have safe food, and work and live in a sound environment," Wen said.

    Accelerating the building of a resources-saving society serves as an important guarantee for the building of a relatively affluent society in an all-round way, and is an important measure to ensure China's economic and national security, he said.

    To step up the building of a resources-saving society, China should follow a new road to industrialization, put equal importance on the development and conservation of resources while giving priority to conservation.

    "We must center on saving resources and improving the efficiency in utilization, and focus on the conservation of energy, water, raw materials and land resources, comprehensive utilization of resources and development of a recycled economy" so as to make substantial progress and remarkable achievements in the next two years, said the premier.

    This calls for development of oil substitutes and other energy-saving products; energy conservation in major energy-consuming industries and enterprises; development of energy-saving vehicles and farm machinery and give priority to the public communications system in cities; promotion of energy-saving buildings, household appliances and lighting fixtures; strict control of the temperature of public cooling systems; and vigorous development of the rural methane production projects and renewable energy such as water, wind, solar and biological energy.

    The premier also called for the reuse of all sorts of waste and use less disposable products.

    To build a resources-saving society, the government will strengthen guidance and planning, and new taxation and financial policies will be worked out to help form a resources-saving mode for production, consumption and city construction, the premier said, adding that all resources-wasting acts will be stopped.

    The country will also improve the legal system to facilitate the conservation of resources, and violators will be dealt with harshly, said the premier, who also governments and officials at all levels to work hard and cooperate well to accelerate the building of a resources-saving society. Enditem

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