BEIJING, March 29 (UPI) -- China has announced larger-than-anticipated targets for carbon emission and energy intensity cuts in industrial production for 2011.
The new reductions -- slightly higher than what China had pledged in its recently released 12th Five Year Plan -- are part of China's plan to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 18 percent over the next five years, said Deputy Minister Su Bo, Xinhua news agency reports.
As part of the new targets, announced Monday, China aims to reduce energy use and carbon emissions per unit of industrial value added output by 4 percent this year compared to 2010 levels.
While the original plan calls for energy use and carbon emissions to be cut by 16 percent, the reductions announced Monday refer to the rate at which China consumes energy but not the overall amount of carbon it emits.
China, the world's biggest consumer of energy, is also the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases, due in large part to its massive economic development over the last three decades, development that has depended on labor and energy intensive growth.
"Industry should play the leading role in energy saving and emission reduction as it is the area where energy consumption and pollutant emission(s) mainly take place. It is difficult to get the whole industry motivated to engage in that course if targets are too soft," said Zhou Cangyi, who heads the department responsible for policy making of energy efficiency, People's Daily Online reports.
Official data indicate that China realized a 26 percent reduction in energy use per unit of industrial value-added output in the five years to 2010, with a savings of 750 million tons of coal equivalent.
China also said it would reduce by 30 percent water consumption per unit of gross domestic product over the next five years. That compares with a 25 percent cut stated in the original five-year plan.
Pew Charitable Trusts, in a study, said China maintained its ranking as the global leader of clean energy investment, attracting a record $54.4 billion in private investment in 2010.
That represents a 39 percent increase from 2009 and is equal to the total global investment in clean energy in 2004.
China, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar modules, is expected to surpass key targets, including deploying 150 gigawatts of wind energy and 20 GW of solar energy by 2020, Pew said.