HANGZHOU - To many Chinese officials at the county and city levels, the newly released half-year evaluation reports on energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) make for grim reading.
Sun Yunyao, head of Shaoxing county government in east China's Zhejiang province, a developed coastal region which consumes a large amount of energy for manufacturing, has had to introduce a series of tough measures to curb high energy usage in this decisive year.
Just days ago, Sun signed a letter of commitment with Shaoxing city government to shut down inefficient enterprises in his county. By September 15, major energy-guzzling factories -- from paper mills to leather makers -- must all be closed down.
Sun feels stressed. The Chinese government has promised to cut the country's energy consumption by 20 percent per unit of GDP in the five years from the start of 2006. This year is the final one in the period.
Although the past four years saw the national energy consumption figure decline by 14.8 percent, the recovering economy disrupted the positive trend, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Zhejiang set the target for energy reduction per unit of GDP at 3.2 percent for 2010. However, only a 1 percent was achieved in the first half of the year.
"This means we have to take a tougher approach in the days left in the year." said Cong Peijiang, official with Zhejiang Economic Information Technology Commission.