China proposes to reduce emissions by millions of tons over the next 20 years
in an effort to help reduce global warming through energy-saving technologies.
Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao said yesterday China will lessen its
greenhouse emissions by 846 million tons annually if all new buildings were
installed with energy-saving technologies. The construction sector takes up
nearly 40 per cent of China's total energy consumption.
By 2020, China's per capita living space will be double what it is now, as 30
billion square metres of housing will have been constructed.
"If all of the national energy-saving standards have been fully implemented
by 2020, China will be greatly contributing towards curbing global warming,"
At yesterday's opening ceremony of an international exhibition and forum on
green and smart buildings in Beijing, Wang did not link the proposed emission
cuts to the international cleaner development mechanism (CDM) projects currently
under the framework of the UN's Kyoto Protocol.
Vice-Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said the potential emission
reduction could bring "many business opportunities" for domestic real estate
developers, who are allowed to trade the reduced emission quota to developed
Under CDM, developed countries can carry out emission-reduction projects in
developing countries through financial and technical co-operation, and this
would count towards their emission targets.
Wang said China has already set "year-to-year targets" in its national
energy-saving campaign in real estate development.
By 2010, all new buildings should be 50 per cent more energy efficient than
2005 and 65 per cent more efficient by 2020.
The government plans to save 20 per cent of energy by 2010 on the basis of
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan yesterday said the campaign was crucial because the
country continued to face shortages of resources. "If we don't take action now
the situation will become worse," said Zeng.
To make the buildings more energy efficient, Qiu said environmental impact
evaluations would be carried out during construction and when choosing what
materials and machinery to install.
The exhibition included innovative ideas such as using solar cookers in
kitchens, setting-up smart wind power generators above buildings and letting
intelligent systems control heating or cooling.
Statistics show only 15 per cent of China's new buildings since 2000 can be
called environmentally friendly, and this may be due to the extra cost
associated with more environmentally friendly buildings.
"The extra cost is the major reason why the market is slow to react to the
campaign," said Zhang Jun, a Beijing-based real estate developer.
To encourage the promotion of energy-saving buildings, Zhang said the
government should put in place an economic incentive mechanism, for example,
preferential tax reductions on such buildings.
(China Daily 03/29/2006 page2)