Forests to ‘fuel Chinese economy’

Thousands of hectares in north China’s Hebei province have been dedicated to biodiesel-producing trees, part of a national campaign to promote green alternatives to fuel the economy, Xinhua reports.

In no more than five years, a provincial forestry official is quoted as saying, the 7,000 hectare forest will yield five tonnes of fruit and, more importantly, two tonnes of high quality biological diesel oil.

Hebei is one of seven regions the State Forestry Administration (SFA) designated as a biofuel forest project in 2006, and its 7,000 hectares are only a small portion of the 400,000 hectares of forest planned by 2010.

But Hebei’s provincial government has gone further, pledging by 2050 to plant more than 870,000 hectares of biofuel-producing trees.

Last year, China banned the further use of grain for ethanol biofuel to ensure grain was available for food. In 2006, roughly 70% of China’s energy use came from coal.

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