Chinese legislators dressed in casual clothing on
Thursday to discuss laws and hear reports as the temperature in the
air-conditioned meeting rooms was increased to 26 degrees.
Members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC),
attending their 28th session, were all in their shirt sleeves for the first time
with the temperature in the meeting rooms raised from 24 degrees centigrade.
"At first, we considered it appropriate for the country's top legislature to
hold meetings with the lawmakers wearing suits and ties to match the solemnity
of the occasion," said an official with the general office of the NPC Standing
"However, after discussion, we agreed that the NPC should act as a model to
save China's limited energy resources."
President Hu Jintao wore a shirt instead of heavy suit when he delivered a
keynote speech at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of China on Monday, which was hailed by the media as a good promotion for
the idea of energy saving.
Early this month, the State Council said room temperatures in air-conditioned
public buildings should be set at a minimum 26 degrees centigrade, to save
energy during the electricity demand peak in summer.
All government agencies, associations, groups, companies and private owners
in public buildings should "strictly comply with this rule," the State Council
China's consumption of energy has soared as the economy has grown. The
shortages of coal, electric power, petroleum and shipping capacity are the big
challenges that China faces in its development.
As temperatures soared to 37 degrees in Beijing on Tuesday, air conditioning
use lifted electricity consumption to 11.22 million kilowatts by late afternoon,
the highest in history, but still short of the city's maximum capacity of 13