China beats NZ at cutting energy use

JILL GALLOWAY
Last updated 12:00 11/07/2014

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China is better than New Zealand at planning for mitigating energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy use, says a Massey University sustainable energy professor.

Ralph Sims said China used only 6 tonnes of greenhouse gases a person a year, as opposed to New Zealand, which emitted 16 tonnes a person a year.

Scientist Dr Zhou Li, from Tsinghua University, has been based at Massey University as part of the Royal Society annual exchange of science personnel between China and New Zealand.

Sims and Zhou said all data sources from both countries showed an increase in energy demand and rising greenhouse gas emissions in the past 10 years.

"Developing countries want the same lifestyle as developed countries, and China is moving towards that. More country people are also moving to the cities," Sims said.

Zhou said there were carless days in place on work days for vehicle owners in China to avoid congestion.

There had also been a strong emphasis on using public transport, electric cars and solar power.

She said a ride on the Beijing metro was only 40c regardless of the length of travel.

Sims said 64 per cent of all solar water heaters in the world were installed in China. Its investment in renewable power capacity last year exceeded investment in new nuclear and fossil fuel power stations.

"So there is an emphasis by the Chinese Government on . . . cleaner energy sources . . ."

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