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January 28, 2011

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SPC plans a greener future for Shanghai

CARBON dioxide emissions in Shanghai are more than double the national average per person and the emissions per unit of gross domestic product are also higher than cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou, Shanghai People's Congress officials revealed yesterday.

The congress, the legislative body, has completed a report on the challenges ahead and suggestions for Shanghai's low carbon development during the 12th Five-Year Plan which starts this year, calling for effective measures to enhance energy efficiency and clean energy use.

Shanghai generates about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. That's about 11 tons per head of the population, while the national level is about 5 tons per person, according to data in 2008, the latest available. About 1.7 tons of carbon dioxide were emitted for every 10,000 yuan (US$1,520) GDP.

"The high carbon dioxide emissions are mainly because of the city's large energy consumption, the leading role that heavy industry, such as steel and chemical plants, play in the city's economy, and the rapid increase of energy consumption in the construction and public transit sectors," said Zhang Zaiyang, an SPC official.

Compared to other large cities in China, Shanghai has a higher proportion of steel and chemical plants in its economy, and these high-carbon businesses will remain the pillar industries in the city for the foreseeable future.

Buildings consume nearly 20 percent of local energy. Public transport consumes 24 percent.

The report suggests that the government improve the efficiency of coal use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by setting a quota for energy consumption, especially coal, for factories, develop clean coal technology and use more clean energy such as natural gas and solar, wind and biological energy.

The report also suggests the city restructure its industries by strictly controlling the steel and chemical sector, phase out highly polluting businesses such as paper making, encourage the services industry and step up the development of industries which use energy more efficiently.

"New buildings must strictly follow an energy-saving rule and public buildings must take a leading role," Zhang said. "A better public transport network and private vehicle controlling measures must be worked out to reduce vehicle emissions."

Officials also said they were carrying out spot checks on trash sorting in the city to promote garbage classification and reduction.

Trials of sorting trash are to be carried out in all new residential complexes and 10 percent of existing complexes in Shanghai and promoted throughout the city over the next two years.


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