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(Apr 02, 2008) On March 11, 2008, Hua Jianmin, Secretary-General of the State Council (Cabinet), announced that China will establish a National Energy Commission. The high-level consultation and coordination body is to integrate "energy management supervision and policies, functions that are currently dispersed among many government agencies." (Further on Hua Jianmin Announces Overhaul of Energy Agencies, Management Policies, XINHUA, Mar. 11, 2008, Open Source Center No. CPP20080311968225.) Among its tasks will be the drafting of an energy development strategy. To handle the Commission's day-to-day work, a national energy bureau will be established as a standing body under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). According to Hua, the new bureau will absorb the NDRC's energy-related institutions and functions, the entire National Energy Leading Group (NELG) (which will be disbanded), and the nuclear power management work of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. It is to draft and execute energy industry programs, policies, and standards; promote new and alternative forms of energy; and encourage conservation, Hua stated. The NDRC will supervise the new body "to ensure the close coordination of energy management with national economic and social development programs and macro-control policies." (Id.)

China's Ministry of Energy was dismantled in 1993, and since then China has lacked an authoritative agency responsible for effecting uniform energy policies and programs, even though the NELG was established in 2005 to help coordinate energy sector planning. According to Ye Rongsi, an NELG expert involved in the drafting of a new energy law, problems facing the energy sector include the need to reform the energy pricing mechanism; an imperfect legal system; an unreasonable energy structure ill-suited to sound and rapid economic development; and the burdensome task of reducing harmful emissions and coping with climate change. "These all need an integrated and authoritative organization to unify the management and promote reforms," Ye stated. (Id.)

Author: Wendy Zeldin More by this author
Topic: Energy More on this topic
Jurisdiction: China More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/02/2008