An economic slowdown can help China realize energy-saving and emission control targets that the government might have previously found difficult to achieve, leaders in the environmental sector have said.
"We hope China's stimulus plan, amid the global recession, can encompass decisive elements in achieving sustainable and low-carbon development," said Wu Changhua, Greater China director of the London-based environmental organization, The Climate Group, at a discussion yesterday on the current financial crisis and climate change.
The authorities could embark on a low-carbon development path by realizing its new stimulus plan and shaking off excessive slowdown, Wu said. The government had previously said reaching energy-saving targets were 'challenging'.
In 2006, China cut energy use by 1.23 percent, but its target was 4 percent. It was closer to the target last year, but still short by 0.34 of a percentage point.
The closure of a number of factories in the steel, iron, concrete and other energy-intensive sectors could help China achieve its goal of cutting down per unit GDP energy intensity by 20 percent and pollutant emissions by 10 percent from 2006 to 2010, participants of the forum said.
Manufacturing and construction accounts for 70 percent of the country's total energy use.
Conversely, environmental stakeholders expressed concern at yesterday's discussion that projects the authorities plan to launch soon to stimulate the economy may become energy and resource intensive. They worried that the global financial crisis may slow down efforts to achieve a worldwide deal on climate change in spite of China's firm stance.
Nicholas Stern, a former UK government advisor, recently said in Beijing that all the parties, including the US, EU and China, are well on track in achieving a global deal.
1. What was the target for cutting energy use that was set in 2006?
2. How much does manufacturing and construction account for in the country's total energy use?
2. 70 percent.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.