China pledges 'green' push over next five years
Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday pledged that China, the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases, would work harder to save energy and clean up the air as it revamps the economy over the next five years.
"We will effectively conserve resources and protect the environment. We will respond actively to climate change," Wen said in a speech to open the annual session of China's parliament, or National People's Congress.
The country will seek to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 17 percent in the 2011-2015 period -- as part of its wider goal to reduce carbon intensity by at least 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.
It will slash energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent by 2015, and hopes to raise the percentage of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix by 11.4 percent from 8.3 percent last year, the premier said.
Wen said the country had made "genuine progress in energy conservation, emissions reduction, ecological improvement and environmental protection" in the 2006-2010 period, and had "vigorously developed clean energy" technologies.
Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell 19.1 percent over the past five years -- close to the original target of 20 percent, the premier said.
In 2011, China will aim to reduce both carbon intensity and energy consumption per unit of GDP by about 3.5 percent compared with last year, the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning agency, said in a separate report.
China has adopted an ambitious plan to boost the use of clean energy such as wind and solar power and also plans to increase its use of nuclear power.
The country currently relies on highly polluting coal for more than two-thirds of its energy needs.
(c) 2011 AFP