Xi highlights need to expand clean energy
China plans to push forward clean energy use for heating in northern regions, to further reduce smoggy days in winter and improve the energy consumption mix, the top leadership said on Wednesday.
In the process, companies will play the major role, and governments will facilitate the clean energy expansion and help residents to accept the new heating source, according to the statement issued after a meeting on Wednesday of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, presided over by President Xi Jinping.
The regions could choose gas or electricity based on their situations and increase the proportion of clean energy in the energy consumption mix, the statement said.
Xi highlighted the importance of expanded use of clean energy for heating in northern regions, saying it is closely linked to people’s wellbeing, the reduction of smoggy days and improvement in
energy production and consumption.
Smog has become an issue during winter, especially in the northern regions. Residents in more than 40 cities have breathed choking air since Friday.
Governments and researchers have reached a consensus that coal consumption is one of the major pollution sources in northern regions, especially in winter, when central heating is turned on between Nov 15 and March 15.
“The governments have taken steps to cut coal consumption, but the frequent smog hitting the northern regions indicates that they need to do more, including promoting clean energy,” said He Kebin, head of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University.
Along with pushing forward the use of clean energy, the top leadership at the high-level financial meeting reviewed reports on five other prominent issues that have drawn wide attention: the progress of garbage classification in Zhejiang province; how to deal with waste from the rural livestock and poultry industry; improving services for the elderly population; regulating the property market; and food and drug safety.
President Xi said these issues are quite important for people’s well-being. He added that in order to maintain economic growth, governments should solve the prominent issues for people unceasingly, which would facilitate the building of a welloff society and create more growth points.