China: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang Emphasizes Green Transition in Speech at the People’s Congress
On the 5th of March China's National People's Congress (NPC), China’s top legislative assembly, convened in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for their annual conference.
During the conference Prime Minister Li Keqiang presented the government’s achievements in 2014, as well as the work program for the year to come. Included in the visions for the work program, were elements of reform that both directly and indirectly related to the energy sector, which confirms the priority that the Chinese leadership gives to more sustainable energy consumption and production.
Prime Minister Li Keqiang emphasized how the energy intensive heavy industry has played out its role as growth engine and how structural reform is needed in order to ensure China’s continued economic development. Furthermore he stressed how market reforms are needed, and specifically how trials of pricing reforms for electricity transmission and distribution must be expanded, and should be considered a necessity for China’s transition toward environmentally friendly production and energy efficiency. Included in the program was an introduction of incentive structures, such as environmental taxes and the reduction of price subsidies.
Prime Minister Li Keqiang stated that: “We will fight to win the battle of conserving energy, reducing emission and improving the environment”.
The Prime Minister subsequently went on to explain that this was to be done through the launching of a number of or new projects, which included clean energy projects, upgrading traditional industries and energy-saving.
Among the promises made in the speech was the guarantee that China would cut the intensity of carbon dioxide. This is to be done through a variety of measures, in part through expansion of the carbon trade pilots, an upgrade of coal-burning power plants to achieve ultra-low emissions, improvement of energy efficiency and continued development of clean energy. It was stressed that a revolution in energy generation was needed and that China stressed the development of wind power, photovoltaic power, and biomass energy.
Additionally Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced that a ceiling on total energy consumption was to be introduced.
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