BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- China continued to make headway in its efforts to improve energy efficiency as its per-unit energy consumption was down 2.88 percent year on year in the first half, official figures revealed on Thursday.
The figure was 0.1 percentage point more than the same period last year, according to a bulletin jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration.
China launched a nationwide campaign to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions in 2006. It vowed to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent and major pollutant emissions by 10 percent by 2010 from the 2005 levels.
The energy intensity index went down 3.66 percent last year.
During the first half, the energy consumption of per-unit value added in industrial firms with annual sales exceeding 5 million yuan (728,727 U.S. dollars) ratcheted down 5.76 percent year on year, according to the bulletin.
The year-on-year drop was 6.74 percent for the coal sector, 4.05 percent for the iron and steel sector, 3.7 percent for the non-ferrous metal sector, and 9.98 percent for the building material sector.
Xie Zhenhua, NDRC's deputy minister, said there was still a long way to go before China could meet its energy conservation targets. The country had just completed a quarter of its energy conservation quota during the past two years.
China's high-energy-consuming industries experienced a growth slowdown in the first half, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The six biggest-energy-guzzling sectors in China -- electric power, non-ferrous metal, chemicals, iron and steel, building materials and petroleum -- recorded a growth of 14.5 percent in output value, 5.6 percentage points lower than the growth rate for the same period last year.
The government has adopted a policy of curbing the development of energy-consuming and high-polluting sectors nationwide, in order to help improve environmental protection and achieve a sustainable economic growth.