China Says to Meet 5-Year Carbon Goal After 2011 Miss on Drought

China, the biggest carbon emitter, said it will meet its five-year projection for saving energy and curbing greenhouse gases through 2015 even after missing its 2011 target following a drought that reduced hydropower.

“Last year wasn’t good enough to reach emission-cut targets,” said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. “Hydropower didn’t fully play a role due to drought in the south,” Zhang said, adding he’s confident of the 2015 goals.

China cut so-called energy intensity for each unit of gross domestic product by 2.01 percent in 2011, less than the goal of 3.5 percent, Zhang said at a briefing in Beijing as part of the National People’s Congress. “The slashing of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP was worse than that of energy intensity” and nitrogen oxides rose 5.73 percent, he said.

Premier Wen Jiabao has prioritized pollution, narrowing the wealth gap and curbing other side effects from economic growth as China seeks to prevent social unrest. The country lowered its economic growth target to 7.5 percent, the least since 2004, to create a more sustainable economy, and aims to cut energy use 16 percent for every 10,000-yuan unit of GDP by 2015.

China missed a target to cut use by 20 percent for the five years ending 2010 even after shutting at least 7,000 factories and banning power discounts to high-energy-consuming businesses. From 2005 to 2010, China reduced its energy use by 19 percent for every unit of GDP, the State Council said in September.

Outdated Capacity

The country will speed up elimination of outdated capacity in the power, steel, construction, non-ferrous and petrochemical industries, according to a Feb. 29 statement on the central government website, citing a meeting presided by Wen.

China in September said it planned to boost efficiency in use of fuel including coal and oil. It will curb growth of high- energy-consuming and polluting industries in the five-year plan.

Coal accounts for about 70 percent of energy demand in the world’s biggest consumer of energy. The plan assigns targets to cut energy use in the coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong, and Shanghai and Tianjin municipalities, 18 percent per unit of GDP by 2015, 2 points more than the nation goal.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Feifei Shen in Beijing at Fshen11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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