Government agencies have been told to stop using official vehicles one day a week based on their license plate numbers, according to a notification for an energy-saving and emission reduction program to be implemented across the country. The program, part of government efforts to protect the environment and promote sustainable development during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), was published on the central government's official website Tuesday. According to the program, the measures were specially designed for various fields, such as enterprises and schools. Some Web users applauded the government's efforts, while others questioned the feasibility of limiting the use of government vehicles. Lian Peng, a freelance writer, wrote on his Sina Weibo microblog that it was difficult to distinguish private cars from official ones, and the ban would result either in drivers using two license plates, or the government buying more vehicles. A pilot project for government agencies to use bicycles will be launched. Government workers' autos were also encouraged to be parked one day a week based on plate numbers. Niu Fengrui, director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, praised the positive efforts made by the government to reduce emissions. However, such efforts would not have apparent effect, Niu told the Global Times Tuesday. Niu suggested that the root of the problem was energy supply, and the fundamental approach should be to develop technologies and adopt better equipment to improve efficiency, as well as change lifestyles and production methods. Zhu Lijia, director of the public research department of the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times such measures will not actually promote the reform of the official vehicle system, and would not impact the core of the system. Military told to cut emissions
The government's efforts to save energy and reduce harmful emissions have spread to a new front: the country's military.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police should work to build energy-efficient barracks and develop energy-saving models for logistics, consumption and training, said a nationwide emission-reduction plan. "Efforts to save resources in the military are an important part of the country's energy-saving and emission-reduction efforts," the plan said. It lays out that the PLA will scale down administrative expenses, make greater efforts to conserve fuel, procure environmentally friendly products and recycle military uniforms. PLA garrisons will coordinate their use of civilian vehicles with local governments to enhance transportation efficiency. Xinhua
Automobiles: Pollution & Energy Use July 15, 1999
It is possible that no invention has had as profound an effect on society as the passenger automobile. It did not take long after its introduction in the early part of this century for the auto to quickly become the primary means of transportation in the United States, where there are now 752 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people (World Almanac 211). While no other country can match the excessive automobile use of the U.S, it's not for lack of trying. Even in China, where the use of bicycles by its citizens is legendary, the number of cars has been doubling every five years for the past 30 years (World Resources Institute, hereafter "WRI" 172). But reliance on cars is not without its problems&emdash;the most obvious being air pollution and energy consumption. Pollution: General
Pollution by cars causes lung cancer, respiratory problems, urban smog, and acid rain (Brown 25). By 1970, after decades without government regulation, air quality had become a serious problem. The first federal Clean Air Act was passed during the Nixon Administration to curtail the ever-increasing...