China and World Business Council Sign Agreement To Reduce Energy Waste

Agreement will help China to build energy-efficient office and housing structures

The China Building Materials Industry Association and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development have signed a technical assistance and goal-setting agreement to reduce energy waste in Chinese housing and office complexes, the business group said Thursday. The agreement will help China build structures that better distribute energy.

China is calling for a 20% energy reduction by 2010 as part of its current five-year social and economic development plan. The government says it wants energy consumption cuts in the cement and building sectors, with a 25% cut in cement consumption sought.

Currently, 10% of Chinese buildings use energy to world standards of efficiency, and China's builds 2 billion square meters of space per year as the key part of its economic growth, the Swiss-based business council has found. Design and construction determine how energy-efficient a building will be, said Travis Engen, business council chairman.

China's rapid economic growth has raised international concern of a drain on energy, 42.9% of which it imports.

"The world will not be sustainable unless China is sustainable," Engen said at a press conference in Beijing.

According to the agreement, the 180-member business council and the Chinese industry association will set energy efficiency goals and ways to measure progress. The council also will share conservation expertise with Chinese businesses and nongovernmental organizations. The next step is to set up working groups.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. Vice Chairman Wang Jiming said he hoped fuel reductions would help China's air quality.

"You want to give the next generation a tract of green mountains and clear water," Wang said at the press conference.

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