Benign growth

Ma Kai
describes how China is committed to a sustainable development energy strategy as it doubles consumption in less than two decades

Energy brings people light and promotes the development of civilization. But it also produces pollution on our planet, facing us with the challenge of how better to protect the environment.

There are great development prospects and vast commercial opportunities in China’s energy growth. In 2002, the Chinese consumed the equivalent of 1.15 tonnes of standard coal and 1,292 kilowatt-hours of power per capita, lower than the world’s average. By 2020, when China’s per capita GDP reaches $3,000 a year, each of our people will be consuming almost twice as much energy, the equivalent of 2 tonnes of standard coal every 12 months, while the country’s total consumption will have increased to the equivalent of 2.5 billion tonnes.
China is adhering to a sustainable energy development strategy in the new millennium, minimizing energy consumption’s impact on the environment
China is unswervingly adhering to a sustainable energy development strategy in the new millennium, minimizing energy consumption’s impact on the environment while promoting energy development. It is:

  • Promoting restructuring of the energy mix. The share of oil and natural gas in primary energy consumption will be increased, and measures will be taken to raise the proportion of hydro, nuclear and wind power in China’s electricity generation capacity from 25.6 per cent in 2000 to 36 per cent in 2020.

  • Promoting the clean use of coal and cutting emissions of various pollutants. China will make efforts to promote and commercialize clean coal power generation technologies like coal washing, coal selection and coal concentration. Research will be carried out on carbon collection and the use of hydrogen.

  • Sticking to its effective energy-saving policy, which has achieved obvious results over many years. In the new millennium, China will increase people’s awareness of energy saving, and implement effective measures more widely. Energy saving is regarded as a fundamental approach for China’s sustainable development.

  • Coordinating energy development and environmental protection as the common aspiration of human beings: this requires joint efforts by the governments and people of the whole world. The Chinese Government will actively promote energy cooperation with the international community. We hope we can carry out exchange and cooperation, learn advanced technology and share experience from other countries. We are ready to establish an active dialogue with other nations and international energy organizations on such issues as energy safety and supplying energy to poverty-stricken people. As a member of the ‘global village’, China will work together with all the world’s countries for a more civilized, more affluent and cleaner future

Ma Kai is Minister in Charge of the State Development and Reform Commission, China.

PHOTOGRAPH: Shihua Zhao/UNEP/Topham

This issue:
Contents | Editorial | Key to development | The energy challenge | Plant power | Bioenergy: doing well while doing right | New energy for development | People | Delivering Change | Benign growth | Green energy | At a glance: Energy | Sustainable Dreams | Brightening the future | Greening oil | Blue-sky thinking | Books & products | New energy to assault poverty | New energy entrepreneurs | Time to get serious | Breaking the ice | In my lifetime – 100% renewable| Slimming the waste

Complementary issues:
WSSD, 2002
Energy, 2001
Disasters, 2001

AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment:
Natural Resources
Air Pollution
Climate Change