(Updates with Wen’s comments in fourth paragraph.)
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on local governments to step up efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions, saying the current situation is “rather severe,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Local authorities should fully implement policies in the government’s work plan for the five years ending 2015, according to the state media, citing a teleconference by Wen yesterday. The nation should curb the growth of energy-intensive and polluting industries, increase the use of cleaner power sources and improve natural-resource pricing, he said.
China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is shutting outdated industrial plants and boosting investment in renewable energy as part of a campaign to create more sustainable economic growth and reduce pollution. The government missed its energy- reduction target in the last five-year plan even after closing at least 7,000 factories.
“We have to fully understand the urgency and extreme importance of energy conservation and emissions reduction,” Wen was cited as saying. “We have to make clear the responsibilities of every level of government and relevant businesses.”
China should promote the cleaner use of coal and renewable energy sources including wind, solar and hydropower, he said. The nation should “develop efficiently” nuclear power while ensuring safety. Pricing mechanisms for resources should be improved and reforms to resource and environment taxes deepened.
China emits more greenhouse gases than any other country. It vowed to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 45 percent in 2020 from 2005 levels. The government missed its target to cut energy use per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010.
--Editors: Paul Gordon, Ryan Woo
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