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Energy Inspectors to Roam Capital

A group of 22 energy-saving inspectors went to work yesterday in Beijing in support of the city's efforts to promote energy conservancy and efficiency.

These inspectors, nicknamed "energy-saving police", will supervise and deal with violations of energy-conservation laws and regulations.

They will mainly target the use of energy and natural resources in hotels, office buildings, shopping malls and other public sites.

"The fast pace of economic development, increasing urbanization and raised living standards pose a great challenge to Beijing's efforts to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency," Mayor Wang Qishan said at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Beijing International Energy-Saving and Environmental Production Exhibition, which kicked off yesterday.

Statistics show that since 1998, the city has spent 120 billion yuan (US$16 billion) combating environmental problems and increasing energy efficiency.

The show aims to display new technology and introduce the public to green lifestyles.

Andy Solem, president and CEO China region of GE Infrastructure, said he expected the company's clean coal production technology to find a huge market in China, the world's largest coal-burning country.

Amid all the high-tech gadgets on display, a kind of reverse vending machine designed to collect used bottles attracted a lot of attention.

The machine dispenses coins after empty bottles and cans are fed into it.

"It's easy to use, and it's fun," said Shen Pengyu, a five-year-old boy who accompanied his father to the show.

The mayor highlighted the collective spirit of environmentalism.

"Finding effective and practical ways to protect the environment is everyone's duty," said Wang.

Liu Qianguang, deputy secretary of the Beijing Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Centre, said one purpose of the exhibition is to convince people that protecting the environment is practical.

(China Daily June 11, 2007)

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