China hits five-year plan target for emissions reduction: official

China’s chief negotiator to the UN climate change talks in Cancun has said that since 2006 the country has emitted 10 percent less pollution than the previous five years.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, made the remarks before leading the 70-strong Chinese government delegation to Mexico for the talks.

China had hit its emissions reduction goal a month ahead of schedule and would finish the overall energy target on time, Xie said at a conference held in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday.

China’s 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010) on national economic and social development set a target to reduce the total pollutant emissions by 10 percent and energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent.

China reduced energy consumption by the equivalent of 490 million tonnes of standard coal and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.13 billion tonnes in the four years from 2006 to 2009, but he gave no total figure for how much energy was consumed or for emissions.

To achieve the goals, China has conducted a nationwide campaign to eliminate energy-consuming and polluting facilities in industries such as electricity generating, steel making and coal-related production.

From 2006 to 2009, China had an average annual GDP growth rate of 11.4 percent, while the average annual energy consumption growth rate was 6.8 percent, said Xie.

Compared with the 2001-2005 period, China had maintained faster economic growth with a lower level of energy consumption, he said, although did not give statistics for the previous five years.

The achievement would influence the restructuring China’s economy and promote a more sustainable development pattern as well as deal with global climate change, Xie said.

The government was working on energy-saving goals for the country’s 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) and would make them an important binding target, he said.

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