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. China launches nationwide energy saving campaign

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by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Sept 1, 2007
China Saturday launched a nationwide energy saving campaign, calling on its people to face the urgent task of reducing its rocketing fuel consumption and worsening pollution.

Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said China had paid a heavy price for its rapid economic development in the past three decades.

"Our country has taken nearly 30 years to catch up with developed countries in industrialisation and urbanisation... but our economic development has exacted quite a heavy environmental price," he said at the launch of the campaign.

The country's most watched news programme on Saturday urged people to help protect the environment by switching from plastic bags to re-usable ones and using fewer disposable eating utensils.

Zeng said China had made some progress in energy saving and emissions reduction in the first half of the year, citing a 2.8-percent decrease in energy consumption per unit of GDP and a 0.88-percent cut in sulphur dioxide emissions.

"But our current energy and emissions situation is still severe, and we need to make further efforts," he added.

He called for better policy implementation, more research into green technology and cooperation from companies and citizens in the country's environmental campaign.

In July, China's Premier Wen Jiabao said China needed to "urgently" face the challenges of climate change.

The Chinese government had set a five-year goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent by 2010, but has fallen far short of its goals as the economy roared ahead last year at 10.7 percent.

China also missed last year's targets to reduce emissions of major air and water pollutants by two percent. Instead, levels rose by almost two percent.

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Analysis: New force to protect Saudi oil
Washington (UPI) Aug 31, 2007
A new oil facilities protection force in Saudi Arabia faces a convinced enemy with a record of attacks on the country, but analysts say it is just another layer of protection on a security apparatus that has so far succeeded in protecting the country's most important resource.

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