China to toughen penalties for wasting energy

Aug 08, 2006 02:00 AM

China plans to toughen penalties for wasting energy as the government's goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4 % risks failure in 2006. The finance committee of the National People's Congress Standing Committee is expected to produce a draft amendment to the energy law by the end of the year, the report said quoting well-informed sources.
"The amendment will focus on clarifying the enforcement, supervision, incentives for saving energy and penalties for wasting it," the report said.

The current law covers mainly energy-saving in the manufacturing sector, while the amendment will expand coverage to include civic buildings, transportation, government agents and utilities, the report said.
China's efficient use of energy is much lower than major developed economies and it has become increasingly dependent on oil imports. The country's oil imports increased by 4.4 percentage points to reach 47.3 % of total consumption.

With the aim of breaking the bottleneck of energy supply that fuels its growing economy, the Chinese government is giving unprecedented priority to energy-saving. The country's 11th Five-Year plan (for 2006-2010) calls for a 20 % decline in the amount of energy needed to create one unit of GDP by 2010.
To attain this goal, the government plans to cut its energy consumption by 4 % per unit of GDP in 2006. The goal, however, is in a grave risk of not being met as the country's energy consumption per unit of GDP increased by 0.8 %, amid runaway investment in property, automobiles and other industries.

The amendment will make it more feasible to implement and easier to prosecute violators, the well-informed sources said.
The current law on energy-saving was promulgated in 1997.

Source: Xinhua
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