Xi high­lights need to ex­pand clean en­ergy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHENG JINRAN zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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