Wen urges China to conserve energy

China's Premier Wen Jiabao has called for a wide range of actions to save energy as the country is expected to face a serious electricity shortfall this year.

    China is bracing for its worst electricity shortages this year

    Wen suggested that government offices set air conditioners' temperature to no lower than 26C to set an example for the rest of the society and advised officials to don thin clothes instead of Western-style suits and neckties, the Xinhua news agency said on Monday. 

    Government buildings should not turn on their lights during the
    daytime and definitely not keep them on throughout the night, said Wen in a recent speech at a national teleconference.

    China is bracing for electricity shortages this summer which are expected to be worse than in 2004, when the country experienced the worst shortfalls since the 1980s. 

    So far this year, 24 of China's 31 provinces and provincial-level administrative units have experienced power cuts. Large scale rationing of energy and closures of factories are expected in some areas. 

    Deeper changes

    In his speech, Wen also called for deeper changes - such as rethinking China's whole style of economic development and going down a "new road of industrialisation".

    Wen: Environmental protection
    must come with economic growth

    Acknowledging the devastation the past two decades of rapid
    economic growth has wrought on the environment and resources, Wen said China must quicken the pace of building a "resources-saving society".

    "This has a bearing on China's economic and social progress and the prosperity of the Chinese nation, and is a policy of strategic importance concerning the overall situation," Wen said. 

    "While promoting economic growth, we must strengthen environmental protection and improvement so that our people can drink clean water, breathe fresh air, have safe food and work and live in a sound environment."



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