China will increase spending on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs by 78% in 2008, according to Chinese news reports. Chinese news agency Xinhua cited an announcement by the Finance Ministry that it would spend 元41.8 billion (A$6.5 billion) on efforts to promote greenhouse gas emissions-reduction schemes and energy efficiency programs, up from 元23.5 billion in 2007. Xinhua reported that the Ministry would earmark 元27 billion of special funds and the remaining 元14.8 billion would come from the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, it said. “Out of the 元27 billion, 元7.5 billion would be invested in ten energy-saving programs, including technological transformation in factories, substitutes for oil and the introduction of energy-efficient light bulbs,” reported Xinhua. The Chinese Government has pledged to reduce energy intensity 20% below 2006 levels by 2010. The Chinese finance ministry said that 元4 billion in new investments would be dedicated to the closure of old coal-fired power and steel manufacturing plants.