(EnergyAsia, September 1, Tuesday) — The Chinese government said the country’s average energy consumption declined by 3.53% in the first half of 2009 from the same period last year.

It attributed the fall to increased energy efficiency and its massive spending on clean energy projects embedded in its four-trillion-yuan stimulus package. (US$1=6.8 yuan).

Possibly now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China will likely be emboldened by the drop in energy consumption to push for further improvement in energy efficiency instead of direct cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
The UN has said that China’s cooperation will be needed to achieve a global agreement to tackle climate change by the end of the year.
The Chinese government has announced a national plan for the country to reduce energy consumption by 20% between 2006 and 2010, which would mean a 4% annual cut over the five-year period. So far, it has failed to meet this yearly target.