Chinese lawmakers worried over energy efficiency, emissions
                 English.news.cn | 2014-04-23 23:43:13 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese lawmakers on Wednesday expressed concerns over the country's low energy efficiency and high emissions, as a recent report suggested that China is lagging behind its energy conservation and emission reduction targets.

Members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) held panel discussions on Wednesday afternoon on the report drafted by the State Council, China's cabinet.

According to the report, though China has made great efforts in cutting emissions and energy use, it still faces serious challenges due to its development pattern and poor technology.

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 emissions should drop by 17 percent by 2015 from the levels of 2010.

By 2013, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP have dropped by 9.03 percent and 10.68 percent respectively from 2010 levels, but the country is still facing "a grim situation" in order to meet its 2015 targets, the report said.

"China is facing considerable challenges in its energy conservation and emission reduction initiatives," said Miao Xuegang, a deputy to the NPC and head of the environmental protection department of Anhui Province.

He added that the country's extensive growth model was to blame here.

"We say that development is the answer to everything. But we should not just pursue any old development," Miao said, adding that it is sustainable development that the country should really be after.

Senior lawmakers agreed that concrete measures must be taken to enhance supervision and that a stricter accountability system is needed in order to meet the 12th Five-Year Plan targets.

Li Shiming, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said the targets should be broken down to different regions and strict timetables should be formulated.

Law enforcement and supervision must also be strengthened, and an assessment system for officials in charge of energy conservation and emission reduction should be set up and put into use, he said.

Wang Qingxi, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, meanwhile noted that China boasts huge potentials in raising its energy efficiency in order to cut emissions. According to Wang, China accounts for some 11 percent of world GDP but consumes a fifth of the world's energy.

Efforts must also be made to streamline China's energy structure by encouraging clean and renewable energies, he said.

This week's NPC Standing Committee session runs from Monday through Thursday.

On Wednesday afternoon, Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang presided over a meeting which was also attended by the NPC Standing Committee's vice chairpersons.

The meeting heard a report on senior lawmakers' suggestions on the amendment to China's law on environmental protection and a report on their deliberations on two draft interpretations concerning China's Criminal Law and the Law of Criminal Procedures.

It also heard a report on senior lawmakers' deliberations and the draft decision on the "Beijing Treaty" on audiovisual performances signed in June 2012, and a treaty on judicial assistance in criminal cases between China and Argentina.

Reports concerning certain NPC deputies' membership in addition to official appointments and dismissals were also read at the meeting.

A similar meeting scheduled later will decide whether the above mentioned bills and drafts will be put to vote at the end of this week's NPC Standing Committee session.

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