China’s planning agency said on Tuesday that all new factories and other investment projects must be reviewed for energy efficiency and those that are too wasteful will be denied government approval.
The National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website that the new rules will take effect November 1. The restrictions are part of China’s efforts to curb surging energy demand, pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases that many scientists believe are the cause of global warming.
The assessments are to be carried out by third parties and reviewed by the government. Projects will be rejected if they fail to meet energy conservation standards, it said. Approved projects will be supervised to make sure they are hitting their efficiency targets and could be fined if they fail to do so.
“It is very important and urgent for us to curb excessive growth of energy consumption and raise energy use efficiency,” the statement said.
Beijing has committed to an ambitious energy efficiency campaign but announced in August that it had suffered a setback as a stimulus-fuelled building boom drove growth in steel, cement and other heavy industry.
Beijing’s plans call for cutting energy intensity, or energy used per unit of economic output, by 20 percent from 2006 levels by this year.
Energy intensity fell by 14.4 percent by the end of 2009 after thousands of antiquated steel mills and other factories were forced to close, the government says. But it crept back up by 0.9 percent in the first half of this year.