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EU Offers Energy Saving Help

The European Commission will help China's construction sector to meet national energy-saving targets, a senior EU official said.

The EU wants to share energy conservation knowledge to help China to tackle its environmental challenge, Heiz Zourek, director general for enterprise and industry of the European Commission, said in Beijing recently.

The nation's construction sector is developing at a remarkable pace, with 2 billion sq m of new buildings each year.

But only half the new buildings meet national energy-saving standards, the Ministry of Construction found, during recent nationwide inspections.

That could pose a threat to the nation's green targets - a 20 percent cut in energy use per unit of GDP from 2006 to 2010, plus a 10 percent reduction in major pollution emissions. The construction sector is expected to contribute 30 percent of the total energy savings.

"We are setting energy-saving standards for the construction sector," said Huang Wei, vice-minister of the construction ministry. "The EU has rich experience in making minimum performance requirements for buildings. We hope that China and the EU can enhance cooperation in the construction sector, including energy efficiency, quality in construction design and quality of construction products."

Zourek said the European Commission has held dialogues with China in other areas, but this would be the first cooperation in the construction sector.

"So in the first step we are not aiming to set up common development standards for buildings, it is more about having constant information and exchange.

"I will suggest setting up a working group, to have continuous exchanges of views, to bring together that knowledge and, down the track, EU companies can start cooperating with China on construction sites," Zourek said.

(China Daily February 2, 2008)

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