NANCHANG, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- China is facing great pressure in trying to meet its emission reduction target by 2015, as the country is still rapidly industrializing, a senior government official said Friday.
The State Council, or China's Cabinet, on Wednesday approved a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent per unit of China's gross domestic product (GDP) until 2015. The plan also maps out precise emission indicators for local governments.
The goal was proposed in the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) approved by Chinese legislators in March, which also included a 16 percent cut in energy use per unit of GDP and a goal of lifting non-fossil-fuel energy usage to 11.4 percent of the country's total energy consumption from the current 8.6 percent.
"China is under great pressure to achieve these targets by 2015," Gao Shixian, assistant director-general of the energy research institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the sidelines of an international investment promotion forum held in Nanchang, the capital of east China's Jiangxi province.
He said China will need to maintain relatively rapid economic growth in the next few years, which will require massive energy consumption. Moreover, China's rapid industrialization and urbanization require the support of heavy industries and energy-consuming products like cement and steel, he said.
"Maintaining rapid growth creates huge pressure for the government's efforts to save energy and cut emissions," he said.
Gao said China's goal of boosting non-fossil-fuel energy usage will also create challenges for meeting the emissions target.
In spite of the bumpy road ahead, China will "take multiple measures and spare no effort to meet its targets," Gao said, adding that the government is working on a plan to put a cap on total energy consumption.
Other efforts will include boosting strategic industries, promoting low-carbon construction projects and investigating the possibility of creating a carbon emissions trading market, he said.