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Green pledge made ahead of Cancun

China
Global Times
24/11/2010

China has vowed to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years, while officials admitted that inappropriate practices have been used in some regions to meet energy saving and carbon reduction targets set for the past five years.

The pledge came in the Annual Report on Policies and Actions to Address Climate Change, which was published by China's top economic planning body the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Tuesday, one week ahead of the United Nations' Cancun Conference in Mexico.

According to Xie Zhenhua, the NDRC's deputy director, energy saving targets set for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) are likely to be met by year-end, with about 2 trillion yuan ($301 billion) invested in the project.

The plan envisaged China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) being cut by 20 % by 2010 from 2005.

Xie admitted incorrect practices such as restricting electricity usage did exist in some regions, as local authorities that did not pay enough attention to the issue in the first four years scrambled to meet targets before the deadline.

In July, some regions began to restrict electricity usage in some high pollution and high energy-consumption industries. Since September, the practice has been reported in at least 18 provinces, affecting small and medium-sized enterprises and local residents.

"It was the first time we set such a binding goal and we have no practical experience”, Xie explained, adding that the problem is being addressed.

The State Council announced on Friday that local governments are obliged to ensure electricity supply.

However, Wang Can, director of the International Environmental Policy Research Center at Tsinghua University, doubted that an administrative order would bring an end to the practice.

"Meeting the target is linked with local governments' and officials' performance assessments, which is prompting them to ignore the call”, Wang said.

The government policies have put local officials and enterprises in a dilemma over whether they should seek economic progress or save energy, he added.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, noted that these frantic last-minute efforts contributed to the diesel shortage in the country, and the government should work out a long-term mechanism in order to fulfill its future pledges.

China promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 % by 2020 from 2005 levels, while increasing the proportion of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consump-tion to around 15 % by 2020.

An environmental tax is under discussion and more economic measures will be taken in the next five years, Xie said, adding that carbon trading markets have already been launched in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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