Emission indexes to be published

Updated: 2011-12-27 07:33

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

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Move will help meet energy-saving targets and boost the economy

BEIJING - Indexes measuring greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption will be published on a pilot basis next year in the latest move to meet energy-saving targets and restructure the economy.

Wen Jianwu, director of the energy statistics department at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the bureau plans to periodically publish the indexes.

A statistics-based evaluation system, monitoring energy saving and recycling in the construction and service sectors, will be launched in the first half of next year, he told China Daily.

"The basic statistical indexes of greenhouse gas emissions are under study jointly with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)," Wen said.

These indicators are expected to show emissions generated by manufacturing and agricultural activities. They will also chart the growth of recycling and provide policymakers with the data for restructuring the economy, Wen said.

Five provinces, including East China's Shandong province and North China's Shanxi province, have been chosen as the pilot areas.

"The main target group of this survey will be enterprises," he said. "It also covers transport agencies and some public institutions."

NBS chief Ma Jiantang said on Friday that compiling the statistics for greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption will be one of the most important tasks in the coming year.

"Emission reduction is China's commitment to the international community, and it is also the key for accelerating the transformation of our economic development mode," Ma said. "It is a challenge and new responsibility for the NBS."

Earlier this month in Durban, South Africa, delegates from China vowed to control domestic emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

But the absence of statistical information impedes the green drive, analysts said.

The NBS does not publish energy-related indexes very often and the method for gathering statistics should be improved, Wen added.

"More cities and household statistics will be covered in the future, and the basic statistical indexes will be launched in line with international standards," he said.

Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute affiliated to the NDRC, said putting an over-emphasis on the speed of industrialization and GDP growth can be dangerous.

China plans to cut the use of energy for each unit of GDP by 16 percent in 2015 from the 2010 level.

"It will be a big step to release information on greenhouse gas emissions", a key request of many international organizations, said Li Yan, head of Greenpeace East Asia's climate and energy team.

The most difficult part is to make sure that companies will provide available and credible figures, Li Yan said.

Blu Putnam, chief economist with the CME Group, said that China's economic slowdown is likely to reduce the demand for commodities and cut the consumption of resources.

Fan Jianping, a researcher at the State Information Center, said that it might be a good time to reduce emissions and promote energy saving next year, because the expected weaker manufacturing production and economic slowdown will force more companies to embrace high-tech and high-efficiency strategies.

Lan Lan contributed to this story.