CHENGDU, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 95 percent of new buildings that go up every year are "energy-guzzling," a senior government planner has said, urging the country to promote energy-efficient construction projects.
China erects about 2 billion square meters' worth of new buildings each year, but less than 100 million square meters are energy-efficient, Tang Kai, chief planner of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said at an economics forum that is currently being held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, from Nov. 19 to 21.
China now has 40 billion square meters' worth of buildings, and energy-efficient ones account for a "very small share," he said. Energy consumption in buildings accounts for 30 percent of the country's total energy use, he said, adding that the proportion is still rising.
"We have to be aware that the promotion of energy-efficient buildings is imperative and extremely urgent for the national economy to achieve sustainable development," he said.
China's status as a developing nation means it has room to improve energy efficiency, Tang said. Promoting the construction of energy-efficient buildings will ease energy shortages and help the country meet its goal of cutting emissions, he added.
The government has vowed to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 16 percent by the end of 2015 and slash carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent during the same period, in comparison to 2010 levels.