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Beijing shows red card to its energy target-busting regions
A labourer inspects solar panels at a solar power plant in Kunming, Yunnan province. Photo: Reuters

China has issued warnings to two-thirds of its provincial governments after they missed energy objectives set to help the country meet its climate goals

(AF) China’s state planner has cautioned provincial and regional governments which missed their energy consumption and efficiency targets for 2021.

Only 10 out of 30 mainland Chinese regions and provinces met their goals to cut energy consumption and energy intensity in the first quarter, or the amount of energy consumed per unit of economic growth, in the first quarter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Thursday.

It also warned that the remaining governments could miss their full-year targets.

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The worst offenders were the eastern province of Zhejiang, the provinces of Yunnan and Guandong and the Guangxi region in southern China, which received red ratings, the lowest, for both their consumption and intensity targets.

Qinghai and Ningxia provinces received red ratings for their intensity targets and yellow for their consumption and Jiangsu a yellow rating for its intensity and a red for consumption.

The regions that received warnings should “adopt forceful measures to quickly reverse the passive situation and ensure achievement of the annual targets, especially the energy intensity goals,” the NDRC said.


Beijing vowed to cut energy intensity by around 3% in 2021 to meet its climate goals. China missed its target of slashing the energy intensity by 15% during 2016-2020.

Energy consumption in the four worst-performing regions rose in the first four months of 2021, following robust industrial activities and unusually warm weather which increased demand for air conditioners.

Electricity use in Zhejiang rose 29.3% and 29.2% in Guangdong, in January-April from a year ago, according to data from the China Electricity Council.


  • Reporting by Reuters


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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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