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China slow at realizing environmental targets for 2015

Updated: 2013-12-25 18:50
( Xinhua)

BEIJING -- Progress has lagged for four binding environmental targets set in the country's 12th five-year development plan (2011-2015), a government report warned on Wednesday.

The four targets are for energy intensity, carbon dioxide emissions, rationalization of energy consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions, according to a mid-term evaluation report on the implementation of the 12th five-year plan.

The report was submitted to the bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

In 2011 and 2012, the first two years of the plan, China's energy intensity, or energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), only dropped 5.54 percent. The target is a 16 percent reduction from 2010 to 2015.

The five-year plan aims to reduce the carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon produced per unit of GDP, by 17 percent from 2010 to 2015. In the first two years, it was only reduced by 6.6 percent.

The country also failed to gain a substantial increase in non-fossil energy in the first two years.

In 2012, non-fossil energy accounted for 9.4 percent of China's total energy consumption, only up 0.8 percentage points from 2010. The target is 11.4 percent by 2015.

The emission of nitrogen oxides in 2011 and 2012, which closely affects air quality, increased by 2.82 percent from 2010. The target seeks to reduce 10 percent from 2010 to 2015.

In 2011 and 2012, economic growth was faster than expected. The country did not move fast enough in reforming its industries and increasing use of green energy, while a number of enterprises were slow at cutting pollution,  said Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), when briefing lawmakers about the report.

The five-year plan lists 24 economic and social development targets, and most of them have progressed smoothly, Xu said.