From: Reuters
Published June 14, 2007 12:00 AM

China Dresses Down Office Workers in Bid To Save Energy

BEIJING -- China has urged office workers to wear T-shirts instead of suits so that air-conditioners can be turned down to save energy, state media said on Thursday.

The news comes in a week some central government offices suffered a day without air-conditioning as they warmed to a campaign to cut energy consumption and improve energy efficiency.

"Several leaders of the State Council recently called on office workers to dress casually instead of in formal suits," the China Daily said.

"Wearing light clothing such as T-shirts makes it possible for air-conditioners to be turned down in offices."

China's capital has unleashed "energy police" to enforce limits on air-conditioner use as the government pushes to save power and clean polluted skies, state media said this week.

China last year vowed to cut energy consumption for every unit of economic activity by 20 percent by the end of 2010. But feverish economic growth has so far defied the target.

The government's latest weapon is 22 officials who will check whether offices, hotels, malls and other big buildings in Beijing are observing a demand to set air conditioning no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius (79 Fahrenheit), the Beijing News reported.

Efforts to clear the capital of pollution have taken on a new urgency with the 2008 Beijing Olympics just over a year away.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and other officials have said the country will not accept mandatory caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are trapping more heat in the atmosphere.

Instead, Beijing has held up its voluntary energy saving measures as an important contribution to fighting global warming, and called for more technological help for clean energy.

Source: Reuters

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