7th July 2006
Recent regulations at the coal face, and moves to promote energy efficiency, may seem far too weak - and arriving too late - for the numerous victims of China's coal dependency.
Mine managers in Henan will be suspended if nine people die in one accident
China Labour Bulletin, Hong Kong
7th July 2006
Mine managers of coal mines in Henan province with more than nine deaths in a single accident will be disqualified and suspended from working in mine operations for five years, according to provincial work safety officials.
During a press conference on 6 July, provincial work safety officials said coal mine managers will be warned if five or more miners die in a single accident in their coal mines, while they will be disqualified and suspended from working in mine operations for five years if nine or more miners die in a single accident. The new policy is mainly related to the increasing number of coal mine accidents in the province in the first half of this year, especially in Zhengzhou City and Pingdingshan City.
The new policy also said that if a coal mine continues to operate when major defaults are
discovered by mine safety inspectors for two times or more in three months, the mine manager will be suspended from working in coal mine operations for five years.
Sources: Sina.com (7 July 2006), Dahe Daily (7 July 2006)
China Ranks Provinces by Coal, Power Efficiency
5th July 2006
BEIJING - China, which plans to judge its officials on improvements in energy efficiency, has published a list ranking its provinces by how much coal and electricity they use to generate each dollar of national income.
Some of the country's developed areas used only one-fifth as much coal per unit of output last year as poor, remote Ningxia, the list, published on the Web site of the National Bureau of Statistics (http://www.stats.gov.cn), showed.
Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub, was the leader in efficient wealth creation, burning the equivalent of just 0.79 tonnes of coal for each 10,000 yuan (US$1,251) of earnings -- but lagged further behind in use of electricity.
Capital Beijing and financial centre Shanghai were the next most efficient coal users, and Beijing -- which aims to host a green Olympic Games in 2008 but is often blanketed by smog -- also topped the rankings of efficient electricity users.
Ningxia was the least efficient power user, followed by neighbouring Qinghai, a major hydropower producer. The list did not include figures for Tibet, but gave no explanation of why the Himalayan region was omitted.
Leaders worried about China's growing dependence on imported oil, and the environmental toll of burning coal, have been trying to promote greater efficiency.
As part of its blueprint for national development through 2010, Beijing has pledged to cut by 20 percent the amount of energy needed to generate each dollar of national earnings.
Between 2001 and 2005, energy consumption growth outstripped overall economic expansion by 6 percentage points, while the amount of power used to generate each unit of output in China is 3.4 times of the world's average, the official Xinhua news agency has reported.
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan has called for a nationwide appraisal system to include energy efficiency, in order to convince bureaucrats who for decades were expected to foster economic growth at almost any cost to weigh up the amount of energy their firms are burning.
At present, the financial hub of Shanghai uses energy efficiency as a performance criterion for officials, as do Jiangsu, Shandong and Hebei and Gansu provinces. (US$1=7.995 Yuan)
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE