China will check provincial-level governments' performances in conserving energy and reducing pollutant emissions, and the results, to be taken as a major index for administration evaluation, will be publicized in May or June, a senior official said Tuesday.
About 1,000 key enterprises are also put under the scrutiny, whose performances will be examined by provincial-level governments, said Xie Zhenhua, vice minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing parliament annual session.
The provincial-level governments are required to publicize the results of their checkups on enterprises in March, Xie said.
Those who miss the annual goals in energy conservation and emission reduction, either governments or enterprises, will be required to make explanations and take measures for improvement within a set time.
They will also be denied any honor or award, and the approval of new high energy-consuming projects in the province or of the enterprise will be suspended, Xie said.
The checkup results will be delivered to the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, which is responsible for official evaluation and promotion, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, a regulator of state-owned enterprises.
The State Council last November promulgated measures to monitor and check annually the performances of 31 provincial-level governments and 1,000 key enterprises in saving energy and cutting emissions.
Before that, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) signed a letter of responsibility for cutting sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD) with the provincial-level governments and five power companies in 2006.
China reported, historically, a drop of both sulfur dioxide emission and COD in 2007.
However, Deputy Director Zhang Lijun of the SEPA admitted that it is not easy to hit the target to cut China's total energy consumption by about 20 percent and the emission of major pollutants by 10 percent by the year 2010, a goal the government set in 2006.
"I should say it's still a rather arduous task and the situation is grave," Zhang told reporters at the press conference.
The central government, nevertheless, is confident to reach the goal, he said, citing the 10 measures Premier Wen Jiabao announced in his government work report last Wednesday.
The measures for energy conservation and emission reduction, including scrapping outdated production capacity in electricity, steel, cement, coal and paper-making industries, are "extremely practical," he said.
As for the effort to respond to global climate change, NDRC's Xie Zhenhua said that as a responsible government, the Chinese government will definitely take effective measures and are always ready to cooperate with all countries across the world.
(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2008)