China ordered civil servants to do without cars, elevators and air conditioning Tuesday as part of an energy-saving awareness campaign.
The government targeted its employees with the one-day ban so that they could serve as an example to others, the official China Daily newspaper said, and because they use so much energy: the 7 million civil servants consume about 5 percent of the country’s total electricity a year – equal to the amount consumed by 780 million farmers.
At the State Family Planning Commission , “a few hundred people” were following the directive, said Chen Bingshu in the agency’s public affairs department. Some, she said, were climbing as many as seven flights of stairs to get to their offices. But not Chen. She said she flouted the rules and drove her car to and from work because she needed to nurse her 6-month-old daughter at lunchtime and wanted to conserve time in the commute.
See also China Daily’s “‘Three-nos’ call to help save energy.”