JINAN, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan told an energy-saving symposium on Friday that the country is under great pressure to achieve its energy-saving goal this year.
The symposium was held in Jinan, capital city of East China's Shandong Province. Zeng was inspecting the city for its performance in energy-saving and developing the recyclable economy.
Zeng admitted at the symposium that the current situation of energy-saving in China is very serious.
Governmental statistics show that from 2001 to 2005, the average growth rate of China's energy consumption was six percentage points higher than the country's economic growth rate.
Although a series of energy-saving measures have been launched in the first half of this year, the country's growth rate of energy-production and energy-consumption is still higher than its economic growth rate, Zeng told the symposium.
Zeng said some effective measures are required immediately to lower the country's high consumption of energy. The production of electricity, steel, chemicals and construction materials will be targeted to reduce energy consumption, said Zeng.
Zeng also called for the establishment of an energy-saving evaluation system that relates energy-efficiency to the appraisal of local officials' performance.
The vice premier added that the central government will also strengthen economic restructuring by encouraging low-energy-use services and high-tech industries and limiting investment to some high-energy-consumption sectors.
Zeng also urged quicker development of clean and renewable energy resources.
According to Zeng, the government will also tighten supervision over 1,000 high-energy-consumption companies and launch ten major energy-saving projects as soon as possible.
The central government will further deepen reform of energy prices and issue favorable financial policies to energy-saving operations.
In March this year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced at the opening meeting of the Fourth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) that China will strive to cut its energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 4 percent in 2006.
It was the first time China linked energy-efficiency with indexes relating to economic growth.
According to China's 11th five-year development plan (2006-2010), China is determined to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent in the coming five years, and change the country into a resources-saving and environment-friendly society.
China must reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by an annual rate of at least 4.4 percent in a bid to fulfill the five-year target, experts said.
"Though achieving the goal will be quite difficult, we have the confidence and determination to succeed," Wen said in March.
China saw its economy quadrupled in the last two decades largely due to huge investment and doubled energy consumption. However, the obvious conflict between environmental protection and booming economic growth challenges China's future development.
Energy consumption per 10,000 U.S. dollars of economic output in China is 3.4 times of the world's average. Enditem