The Chinese government will meet the energy saving and pollution control
targets between 2006 and 2010 despite last year's setback, said Premier Wen
Jiabao in a report to the parliament Monday.
The Chinese government set the goal of reducing energy consumption per unit
of gross domestic product by 20 percent and major pollutants discharge by 10
percent in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan.
China's energy consumption per unit of GDP in 2006 went down 1.2 percent, and
oxygen chemical demand and sulfur dioxide emission rose 1.2 percent and 1.8
percent, respectively, said Wen in a report on the work of the government
at the opening meeting of the full session of the National People's Congress.
He said the country fell short of the targets set at the beginning of last
year for cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by four percent and
discharge of major pollutants by two percent.
"The targets can't be revised and we must work resolutely to reach them," Wen
He noted that the State Council, or cabinet, will make annual reports on the
progress made in saving energy and reducing major pollutants discharge to the
NPC starting this year, and report on the overall progress made over the past
five years at the end of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period.
He blamed slow industrial restructuring and over-heated growth of the heavy
industry, especially the highly energy-consuming and polluting sectors, for
failure to attain the two goals.
"Lots of outdated production facilities are still in operation. Meanwhile,
some local governments and companies failed to strictly comply with laws,
regulations and standards on energy saving and environmental protection," Wen
Official statistics show the growth gap between the light and heavy
industries expanded to 4.1 percent for the whole year of 2006 from 1.8 percent
in the first half.
NPC deputy Liu Cigui, acting mayor of southeastern coastal city of Xiamen,
said that it would be much harder to meet the targets if the irrational
industrial restructure wasn't improved as soon as possible.
Wen pointed out in the report that China won't approve any new projects that
fail to pass the government's energy saving and environmental impact assessment,
and will close down any businesses that fail to comply with the energy saving
and pollution control standards.
Wen also said the government plans to shut down small coal- fired power
plants with total electricity generating capacity of 50 million kilowatts
between 2006 and 2010 and shut down outdated production facilities in steel,
cement, electrolytic aluminum, ferrous alloy, coke and calcium carbide
Zhu Hongren, deputy director of the economic operation bureau at the National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China's current extensive
economic growth has gone beyond the bearing ability of the environment and
resources. "We are left with no other alternatives but to meet the targets,"