The greenhouse gas emissions of China are still high and are expected to rise, although China has taken serious steps in solving the problem. Increasing efforts to conserve energy may contribute significantly to the mitigation attempts to global warming. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how reducing the growth rate of energy consumption may affect the economic growth rate in China. This paper investigates the temporal relationship between the growth rates of energy consumption and GDP in China in a multivariate framework. We find some evidence that China may consider reducing the growth of energy consumption without significantly hampering economic growth. (c) 2006 Society for Policy Modeling. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.