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Energy-saving into Performance Rating of Officials

China's top legislature adopted on Sunday the draft amendment to the Law on Conserving Energy which suggests work carried out by local government officials in energy conservation should be integrated into the assessment of their political performance.

"The way in which energy saving goals are accomplished will be made part of the performance rating of local governments and their leaders," says the revised law.

"Revising the current energy saving law is necessary and the draft amendment is basically practicable," said the legal committee under the National People's Congress in a written explanation.

The law, which almost doubles the articles of the original, details measures to avoid energy waste, improve energy efficiency and cut pollution emissions.

Local energy saving standards in the construction industry must be stricter than those set by the central government and industrial associations as energy saving on buildings is closely related to the local geographic situation, according to the draft.

Other energy-saving measures include strict control of the indoor temperature in public buildings and restrictions on decorative lighting for large buildings.

The State Council, the cabinet, in early June issued a circular, ordering the temperature of all air-conditioned public rooms in government buildings to be kept at no lower than 26 degrees Celsius.

In a five-year plan to 2010, China pledged to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent, or 4 percent each year. However, the consumption actually fell by just 1.23 percent last year.

The law, newly adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at its five-day session after the second reading, will take effect on April 1, 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2007)

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