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China Takes Concrete Measures to Curb Energy Pollution

China has been taking concrete measures to control pollution caused by energy consumption in recent years, and is seeing improvements, NDRC deputy chief Xie Zhenhua said on the sidelines of a conference on energy safety and climate change.

During an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Xie, deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said that China has always been greatly concerned by climate change. The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed the strengthening of China's ability to tackle climate change, and that the country contribute more to protect the global climate.

In an effort to tackle climate change, the Chinese State Department has launched a national project, set up a national leadership team dealing with climate change led by Premier Wen Jiabao, and established several climate change offices inside major economic departments, Xie said.

In China's Eleventh Five-Year Program for National Economic and Social Development (2006-2010) and the national project to deal with climate change, the government set a target of reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 20 percent by the year 2010 from 2005, an important measure to change China's economic development mode and reduce pollution, the deputy chief said.

From 1995 to 2005, China's energy consumption per unit GDP has dropped by about 47 percent, preventing the emission of 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide, Xie said. Besides, China has been actively planting trees in recent years, helping to absorb 5.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the past 20 years.

As for future development goals, Xie said that China will invest heavily in renewable energy. Currently renewable energy accounts for 7.5 percent of the total primary energy in China, and hopefully that ratio will reach 10 percent in 2010 and 15 percent in 2020, said Xie. Besides, China will also vigorously develop nuclear energy.

In the interview, the NDRC's deputy chief said that China has made climate change a major factor in the country's change of economic development mode, and in its scientific development. China will actively develop a low-carbon economy with associated technologies, and follow a path of sustainable development, Xie said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2008)

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