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Speech at the Opening Ceremony(Xie Zhenhua)

2008-11-12author:Xie Zhenhuasource:

Respected Vice Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Chairs of CCICED

Members and experts:

Good afternoon. I am very happy to attend CCICED 2008 AGM and discuss with new and old friends of CCICED about relevant issues on environment and development in China. I witness the development process of CCICED over the past 17 years that adheres to providing recommendations on sustainable development of China, and I feel it an honor to continue CCICED work under the leadership of Vice Premier Li Keqiang. Just amoment ago, Vice Premier Li gave us an important speech, which analyzes domestic and international situation confronting China and identifies the requirement for the promotion of the environment & development cause of China. He expounded the basic principle on enhancing international cooperation in the field of environment & development and presented higher requirement for the future work of CCICED. We will seriously implement his instructions in the future work.

Next, I briefly introduce to all Members the information about energy saving and emission reduction this year in China and preparation for the Copenhagen conference on climate change.

In the first six months of 2008, responding to complex domestic & international situation and severe natural challenge, China has won great victory in fighting against heavy snow storm and sleet disaster in southern part of China early and the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan of Sichuan Province. It has made more efforts in energy saving and emission reduction when successfully holding Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with new progress in each activity of energy saving and emission reduction.

There is an evident progress in the development of laws & regulations in the field of resources and environment in China. Now we begin the implementation of the newly amended the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Conservation of Energy. The new law on energy saving in legal level identifies the conservation of resources as a basic national policy of China. It stipulates that the State carries out a series of systems like energy saving target responsibility and accountability system as well as energy saving assessment & review system for construction projects.

The Standing Committee of NPC passed and promulgated the Law on the Promotion of Circular Economy, which will be put into effect on January 1, 2009. This law identifies 6 basic institutions for circular economy and lays a legal foundation for the promotion of circular economy across China. 

The State Council has issued the Regulations on Energy Saving in Public Institutions, which regulates energy saving of all government departments and institutions and organizations wholly or partly use national financial funds. At the same time, the State Council has issued the Regulations on Energy Saving of Civil Buildings, which requires gradual control and reduction of the energy consumption in civil and public buildings that account for significant proportion of energy consumption. It unveiled the Circular on Further Enhancement of the Conservation of Oil and Electricity. The circular requires focusing on key equipment and products like automobiles, boilers, electric machinery, air conditioners and lighting devices with wide application, big potential and fast outcomes; applying comprehensive supporting measures; developing effective incentive & constraint mechanism to accelerate the application & extension of high-efficiency energy saving products and technologies and raising oil and electricity efficiency.

To achieve the target of energy saving and emission reduction, the State Council has made the arrangements of 12 key tasks such as enhancement of the examination of target responsibility, firm curbing of rapid development of the industries with high energy consumption and emissions, acceleration of phrasing out of lag-behind productivity, more efforts in the implementation of energy saving and emission reduction projects, doing well energy saving in key fields, acceleration of the development & extension of energy saving and emission reduction technologies, acceleration of the development of circular economy, enhancement of supervision on key pollution sources, the implementation of economic policies conducive to energy saving and emission reduction, improvement of relevant regulations & standard, strengthening of supervision, inspection and administrative law enforcement on energy saving and emission reduction as well as the organization of “national public campaign on energy saving and emission reduction”. At the same time, it requires that over 80% new buildings by the end of 2008 across China shall comply with compulsory energy saving standard during construction stage. In addition, 100% of main environmental indicators of the concentrated surface drinking water source areas of 113 key cities on environmental protection meet national standard.

Remarkable outcome of energy saving and emission reduction. In 2006 and 2007, the accumulated energy saving reached 147 million t of coal equivalent under rapid economic growth. Up to 2007, the desulphurized coal-fueled power generation sets with a total capacity of 120 million kW across China had been put into operation. Newly added capacity in urban sewage treatment was 13 million ton per day. The total COD discharge of China reached 13.818 million t, down by 3.2% compared with that in 2006; total SO2 emission was 24.681 million t, down by 4.7% compared with that of 2006. On this basis, COD discharge went down by 3.96% and SO2 by 2.48% in the first 6 months of 2008. Energy consumption per unit GDP in the first 3 quarters of 2008 went down by 3.46% compared with that of the same period last year.

The Chinese Government will keep on promoting and improving all economic policies conducive to energy saving and emission reduction. In industrial policies, first, we will carry out strict management on fixed asset investment projects in industries with high energy consumption and emission to control too fast growth of these industries at source. Second, we will establish the mechanism that phases out lag-behind productivity to accelerate the phasing out of such industries as power, iron & steel, building material, electrolytic aluminum, iron alloy, calcium carbide and sheet glass. Third, we will develop incentive policy to speed up the development of service and high-technology industry. In price policy, we will actively facilitate the reform on the price of resource products and environmental protection charge. We will improve the staircase electricity pricing policy and canceled the favorable power policy for enterprise with high energy consumption, lower the price for the electricity from small hydropower stations and carried out incentive power policy on such energy sources as biomass, wind and solar energy as well as the electricity generated in landfill facilities. We have issued the measures on the management of the price of electricity from desulphurized coal-fueled generation sets and operation of desulphurization facilities; we have also pushed gradual shift of urban heat charge calculated from area to heat. In financial policy, we have issued the Provisional Measures on the Management of Financial Reward Fund on Energy Saving Technical Reform to award the enterprises according to real amount of energy conservation in the energy saving technological reform projects. In addition, we have issued the Provisional Measures on the Management of Financial Subsidy on the Extension of High-efficiency Lighting Produces, which, by employing government subsidy, supports big users and residents using high-efficiency lighting products in place of in-service incandescent bulbs and other low-efficiency products. We have promulgated the Provisional Measures on the Management of Special Fund for Government Office Buildings and Large Public Buildings to support the establishment of energy saving supervision and management system for such buildings. We have issued the Measures on the Management of Special Fund of Central Budget for Emission Reduction of Major Pollutants to strengthen the capacity building in three systems, i.e. pollution indicators, pollution monitoring and examination. In taxation policy, we have adjusted the export tax refund rate of the products with high energy consumption or emission or resource oriented. We have issued favorable policies such as reduction and exemption of the income tax of enterprise based on its energy saving and environmental protection projects and the investment in energy saving and environmental protection equipment compensating for income tax. We have carried out such favorable policies such as reduction of income tax and value-added tax for recycle and reuse products; raised the consumption tax for high emission vehicles and lowered the tax for low emission vehicles. Also, we have studied and designed environmental tax program. In Monetary Policy, we have released the Guidance on the Improvement and Enhancement of Monetary Service in the Field of Energy Saving and Environmental Protection and Guidance on Credit Granting for Energy Saving and Emission Reduction. We have unveiled the Suggestions on the Implementation of Environmental Protection Policy and Prevention of Credit Risks and Guidance on the Insurance of Environmental Pollution Liability. We support the issuing of enterprise bond by qualified enterprises in the field of energy saving and emission reduction and actively carry out trial work on profit bond of sewage treatment projects. We also have studied and developed the Provisional Measures on the Management of Energy saving and Emission Reduction Fund in Operation Budget of National Owned Assets. The implementation of the above policy measures to facilitate energy saving and emission reduction enables enterprises have more consciousness and initiatives in saving energy and reducing emission.

Although there are some progress on energy saving and emission reduction in China, on general however, there is no fundamental change of the extensive growth mode with too big cost of resources and environment for economic growth. With population increase and accelerated industrialization and urbanization, the contradiction between economic growth and resource & environment is increasingly serious and become a pre-eminent problem for China to achieve sustainable development. To achieve the energy saving and emission reduction target during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, we must make more efforts in the long term.

To address international financial crisis, the Chinese Government has recently adopted active financial and appropriately relax monetary policies. It has taken ten measures such as accelerating the improvement of living standard, strengthening the construction of rural infrastructure, post-disaster reconstruction, improving ecological environment, adjusting industrial structure, saving energy and reducing emissions to expand domestic demand and sustain growth momentum, which are conducive to long-term development. When addressing the international financial turbulence, we still pay high attention to and actively address climate change. Apart from saving energy and raising energy efficiency, the Chinese Government has made further efforts in optimizing energy mix and investing the development of renewable energy. In 2007, the total application amount of renewable energy was about 220 million t of coal equivalent. At present, renewable energy accounts for around 8.3% of the total primary energy in China. It is expected that it will reach 10% in 2010 and 15% in 2020. Up to now, the total installed capacity is 10 million kW for wind generation sets and 163 million kW for hydropower. In addition, more efforts have been made in the development of nuclear energy. The total installed capacity of nuclear power has increased from 2.1 million kW in 2000 to 8.85 million kW in 2008. In 2006 and 2007, China reduced 835 million t CO2 emission with the help of the implementation of each measure on energy saving, higher efficiency and development of renewable energy sources.

The Chinese Government has taken active measures to address climate change and made proactive contributions to facilitate the carrying out of Bali Roadmap by all parties and the success of Copenhagen meeting. China unveiled its White Paper on Climate Change in October. It in cooperation with United Nations held the “Beijing High-Level Conference on Climate Change –Technology Development and Technology Transfer” on November 7-8, 2008. Over 800 participants including more than 30 ministers and representatives from 70 countries attended the meeting. The meeting approved the “Beijing Declaration”. In August, 77 plus China submitted to UNFCCC Secretariat the initiative on the establishment of relevant mechanisms in terms of technological transfer and funds. In October, China put forward a proposal on adaptation to climate change at the East Asia Summit on Climate Change. At APEC Meeting in last September, Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward the initiative on setting up Asian-Pacific Forest Restoration and Sustainable Development Network. With the above efforts, the Chinese Government has made active and very constructive role in jointly addressing climate change with other countries in the world.

During this meeting, I would like to listen to the comments & suggestions of each Member and expert on such aspects as energy saving and emission reduction, development of circular economy, higher energy and resource efficiency and climate change in China.

As an international high-level policy advisory body, CCICED has unique expert and resource advantages with growing team and vitality. Past experience shows that CCICED policy recommendations have played an active role in the development and adjustment of relevant national policies in China. As a Vice Chair of CCICED, I am willing to work with you to study these issues, explore new methods, do well the work and promote scientific development in China.

Thank you


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