China Mulls Raising Energy Saving Target


November 15, China, the world's second-largest energy consumer after the U.S., plans to further reduce energy consumption and cut carbon dioxide emission in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), according to a senior minister.

By 2015, China is expected to cut energy consumption of per unit industrial added value and carbon dioxide emissions by 20% and above respectively, compared with the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2005-2010), Miao Xu, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a recent conference.

Specific requirements are still under discussion as the MIIT wants a reduction of 20% while the National Development and Reform Commission hopes to set the target at 30%, an industry expert told the 21st Century Business Herald.

The final decision will be made by the State Council, China’s cabinet, the expert said.

At the beginning of this year, the targets were set at 16% and 18% respectively, according to the expert.

Although the targets have not been finalized, it will be increasingly difficult to achieve them.

In 2011-2015, China will continue to accelerate industrial development and face more severe challenges in achieving energy savings and environmental protection, Miao said.

In the last 5-year period, China’s energy consumption of per unit industrial added value accumulatively fell by 26% and the nation supported an annual industrial growth of 11.57% via an annual 6.98% increase in energy consumption.

Energy saving in the 11th Five-Year Plan relied on technology rather than industrial structure adjustment, according to research published by the Finance and Economics Commission of the National People's Congress.

“This means the country needs to make more efforts in the next 5 years to alter its economic structure,” the expert said.

Due to the rapid growth of energy–intensive industries, it is hard for China to fulfill its target for this year.

In the first 3 quarters, energy consumption of per unit industrial added value reduced by 2.56%, compared with the government’s 3.4% target.

“As the first year of the 12th Five-Year Plan, local governments rushed to launch new projects,” the expert said.

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