Energy Intensity Reduction Target
Policy measure

The 11th Five-Year Plan (11FYP) from 2006 to 2010 set a mandatory target of a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 from the 2005 level. This is the equivalent of reducing energy consumption from 1.22 tonnes to 0.98 tonnes of coal per CNY 10,000 of GDP. In addition, the discharge of major pollutants needs to be cut by 10 percent. The Plan was issued in 2007 after the 4 percent reduction in energy intensity targeted for 2006 was missed, and all companies as well as the local and national governments were requested to submit detailed plans for compliance before 30 June 2007. In 2006, the reduction achieved was 1.23 percent (IEA, 2006).

The energy intensity target is part of a broader goal to quadruple economic growth while doubling energy consumption between 2000 and 2020 (IEA, 2006).


According to APERC (2010), “the most important feature of China’s strategy to improve energy intensity is the creation of a chain of responsibility that reaches all the way from the economy-wide target down to the shares of the target that must be achieved at the local level.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) has allocated the target among provinces and industrial sectors. Meeting energy efficiency improvement targets is among the criteria used to evaluate the job performance of local officials. All provinces (along with municipalities and autonomous regions) have specified overall goals varying from 16 to 22%.”

No identified challenges.

According to IEA (2006), the 4 percent average was not met in the first few years following the setting of the target, and was therefore abandoned as an official target. In 2006 and 2007, energy intensity declined by 1.79 percent and 3.66 percent, respectively. The 4 percent figure was, however, met in 2008, when energy intensity declined by 4.2 percent.


IEA (International Energy Agency), 2006. Energy Intensity Reduction Target. Available at: