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China must act to save energy, cut emissions

English.news.cn   2011-11-10 11:33:08 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Recent data about energy conservation and emissions reduction in China deserve special attention.

First, according to statistics from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, there is a huge gap between China’s emissions reduction results in the first half of this year and its emissions reduction targets for 2011 and for the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).

The country’s chemical oxygen demand and sulfur dioxide emissions continued to drop in the first six months, but its emissions of ammonia nitrogen only dropped less than 1 percent. Furthermore, its emissions of nitrogen oxides rose by more than 6 percent. It should be pointed out that China aims to reduce its emissions of both ammonia nitrogen and nitrogen oxides by 10 percent by 2015.

Second, although economic growth slowed slightly in Chongqing and the provinces of Yunnan, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai in the first six months, the four high-consumption industries — building materials, metallurgy, chemical engineering and non-ferrous metals — in these regions consumed more than 15 percent more electricity year on year.

Power consumption growth even reached 26 percent in Yunnan. The National Development and Reform Commission raised the alert level on Henan, Hebei, Hubei, Guangxi and other provinces in its first-half energy conservation report.

According to data, China's non-renewable energy consumption reached 3.2 billion tons of standard coal in 2010, and currently, China's rate of oil dependence on foreign countries has reached 55 percent.

If China's energy output and consumption continue increasing rapidly, China will face unprecedented pressure in areas of energy supply and ecological carrying capacity. It will also be difficult to achieve the goal of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by between 40 percent and 45 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2020.

In the 12th Five-Year Plan, China's economy will still maintain rapid growth and the total energy consumption will still increase.

If China wants to realize the goal of lowering both chemical oxygen demand and sulfur dioxide emissions by 8 percent, reducing both ammonia nitrogen and nitrogen oxide emissions by 10 percent and an absolute emission reduction accounting for about 30 percent of the total emissions, the task that China faces is very heavy.

For this goal, China's energy policy for the 12th Five-Year Plan has changed significantly. In the past, China saved energy and cut emissions by reducing energy consumption, but now China has made controlling total energy consumption a high priory and placed a great premium on promoting energy conservation and emission reduction by adjusting the industrial structure.

(Source: China Economic Net/People's Daily Online)

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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