February 12th, 2011 | Global Times Stimulus package effects on energy saving may last for years: report
China’s 4-trillion-yuan ($607.2 billion) stimulus package, which the government launched on November 2008 to bolster the country’s economy, has made its farewell, but according to a recent report, the package’s impact on energy saving and carbon emission reduction may last for years.
According to the report released by the Development Research Center of the State Council and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), to some extent it is the investment structure of the 4 trillion yuan that leads to the negative impact on the energy-saving sector.
Since 81 percent of the 4 trillion yuan ($607.2 billion) flowed to construction of houses and infrastructure, which brings to the fore the growth of high energy-consuming sectors like steel, nonferrous metal and cement. Therefore, in the short-term, the negative impact on the energy saving and carbon emission reduction will not disappear, according to the report.
Data showed that of the 4 trillion yuan ($607.2 billion), as much as 1.5 trillion yuan ($227.52 billion) flowed to infrastructure construction. Of the infrastructure construction, investment of 60 billion yuan in the railways meant consumption of 28.3 million tons of steel and 120 million of cement, and investment of 60 billion yuan in roads consumed 15 million tons of steel, 133.5 million tons of cement and 28.35 million tons of asphalt, and investment of 30 billion in subways and airports consumed 5.55 million tons of steel, 11.2 million tons of cement and 32.2 million cubic meters beton.
According to Yang Fuqiang director of Global Climate Change Solutions, WWF, the figure of 1.5 trillion yuan ($227.52 billion) is still too conservative.
However, since large investments in high energy-consumption sectors cannot be sustained in the long term, as these sectors slowed down, the negative impact may disappear after 2014, said the report.
According to the report, the investments in the energy saving sectors, combined with the emission reduction effects in the transport sector, would bring by 2020 an emission reduction of 270 million tons of carbon dioxide.
The report pointed out that by 2020, when the transportation network of railways and subways were completed, due to their energy saving advantage compared with roads, they would save about 20 percent energy for the transport sector.
Also, 210 billion yuan ($31.85 billion) of the 4 trillion yuan flowed to the energy saving and environmental sector; of the 210 billion yuan, 100 billion yuan ($15.17 billion) was used in building a nuclear station and 40.79 billion yuan ($6.19 billion) in the energy saving field. These investments would achieve emission reduction of 51 million tons of carbon dioxide.
The report also advised the country to increase investments in energy saving, carbon emission reduction and clean energy sectors, and step up efforts to adjust the structure of industries, whereby low-carbon industries replace the high energy-consumption sectors. Also, the approval of new projects in the high energy-consumption sectors should be restricted, the report suggested.