China Economy Needs to Be More Energy Efficient, Official Says

Posted on 13 April 2010

China needs to become more energy and resource efficient after being the world's biggest emitter of carbon and sulfur dioxides last year, said Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice chairman of the nation's economic planning agency.


China will cut energy and resource intensity by promoting technical innovation and encouraging investments by energy- efficient foreign companies, Zhang said today at the Boao Forum for Asia. The nation accounted for 8 percent of the world economy in 2009, while using 18 percent of global energy, 44 percent of steel and 53 percent of cement, he said.


Pollution surged as China's economy more than tripled in the past decade, spurring concerns that a deteriorating environment may lead to social unrest. Premier Wen Jiabao in January called the country's pollution situation 'grim' and pledged to limit emissions from coal-powered generators, cement and steel producers and to ensure water quality.


The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce will meet next week to discuss the new regulations aimed at luring 'good foreign companies' to invest in China, Zhang said. China doesn't welcome foreign companies that aren't energy efficient, he said.


China passed the U.S. to become the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The Chinese economy, which grew 8.7 percent last year, is poised to surpass Japan's this year as the second-biggest after the U.S.


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