Premier Wen Jiabao has urged more curbs on industries
that consume more energy and release more pollutants in a bid to
ensure a healthy and fast economic growth.
Wen said that the economy could hardly be sustainable
if China failed to adjust the economic structure, transform the
(extensive) growth mode, and reduce energy consumption.
"We are left with no choice but to develop in an
economical, clean and safe way," the premier said in a speech
addressed to the national working teleconference on energy saving
and pollutants reduction late April.
A copy of the full speech was made available to Xinhua
Wen noted the nation will tighten land use and credit
supply and set stricter market access and environmental standards
for new projects amid efforts to rein in the rapid expansion of
energy-gorging industries including power, steel, oil refinery,
chemicals, construction materials, and metals.
The premier said the six sectors that consume 70
percent of energy for industry and release the same percentage of
sulfur dioxide grew 20.6 percent in the first quarter, 6.6
percentage points higher than the same period last year.
"We will continue to curb the energy-guzzlers by
further adjusting exports rebates, levying more exports tariff, and
reducing exports quotas," he said.
Wen said China will cancel preferential policies on
the industries like lower tax, electricity and land
"Outmoded production facilities must be eliminated at
a faster pace and how this policy is implemented by local
governments and companies will be open to the public and subject to
social supervision," he said.
Wen added that China will push forward reforms in the
pricing of natural gas, water and other resources, raise the tax
levied on pollutant discharge, establish a "polluter pays" system
and severely punish those who violate the environmental protection
"The ten nationwide energy saving programs, such as
developing oil alternatives, upgrading coal-fired boilers and
saving energy indoors, will save China 240 million tons of coal
equivalent during the 2006-10 period, including 50 million tons
this year," he said.
He said the government will also introduce more
incentives to encourage companies to use more energy efficient
production facilities and techniques. "This year is crucial for
China in its efforts to meet the energy saving and pollutants
emission reduction target set for the 2006-10 period," said
The Chinese government has set a goal of reducing
energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent
by 2010, while pollutant discharge should drop by 10
Energy consumption, however, fell only 1.23 percent
last year, well short of the annual goal of four
Wen also said to meet the target is an urgent demand
of global climate change and the coal-dependant China should bear
the responsibility to reduce pollutant emission.
(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2007)