Casualwear for the Climate Chinese Workers Told to Wear T-Shirts to Save Energy

An austerity campaign in China will encourage officeworkers this summer to leave their suits at home and show up for work in t-shirts.

One of these people is correctly dressed.

One of these people is correctly dressed.

Leaders of China's State Council have called for an easing of dress codes in China's public buildings so air conditioners can be turned down or even off, China Daily reported Thursday. The government is stepping up its rhetoric in a so-called "26 C" campaign to keep its buildings no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) during the summer.

According to the newspaper, air conditioners account for 30 to 50 percent of office buildings' power consumption in the massive Communist nation. "So there remains the huge task of energy control during summer," said cabinet official Fan Xuecheng, according to the paper.

The "26 C" campaign, which has been in effect since 2005, applies to schools, office buildings, supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, government agencies and private owners of public buildings. People's Daily Online estimated that 300 million kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved if all building thermostats were set to 26 degrees Celsius.

China has been the subject of much attention recently because of its enormous greenhouse gas emissions and because of high-level negotiations over global warming at the G-8 summit. "China is exploring a different way of controlling greenhouse gas emissions," Wan Gang, the country's new Minister of Science and Technology and China's first non-Communist minister in three decades, told China Daily. "We will not follow the Western countries' way of high emissions first and then reduction."

China is not the only Asian country which is urging citizens to turn down the a/c. Japan's "Cool Biz" campaign encourages office workers to lose their suits and ties and keep the thermostat at 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently set a good example by instructing his cabinet members to wear traditional Japanese short-sleeved shirts instead of businesswear.



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