China climate change plan unveiled

Brazil, China and the United States each announced on Tuesday new goals to reduce carbon emissions over the next 15 years, including through restoration of thousands of square miles of rainforest in South America.


Deese added that the submission follows from the target that China announced in the November 2014 Joint Announcement by Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The pledge also involves increasing the amount of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to 20 per cent. These calculations assume a steady annual decrease in carbon intensity.

Here is what it all means. At this rate, China’s carbon intensity could be almost twice as high as that of the European Union (based on its Paris pledge).

“China has already achieved a 33 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of its booming economy since 2005, and last month the government ordered its manufacturers to cut current levels by a further 40 percent by 2025?, writes Reklev. For years China argued that it was too poor and underdeveloped to even consider accepting any obligations to curb its greenhouse gases. “I think China’s position has been known for some time”. China will have 30per cent lower GHG emissions – about 6.5 billion tonnes less – than the Business as Usual (BAU) Scenario in 2030. Given that coal still accounts for around 66% of China’s energy consumption, CCS is an indispensable tool for enabling the country to cut its emissions and sustain economic growth. Many observers say that wording suggests developing countries should take on growing commitments as they evolve. It is already the world leader in wind power and is set to overtake Germany this year as the world’s leader in solar power.

Still, analysts say these promises are still well off what is needed to avoid unsafe levels of warming.

“China now joins the United States, Europe and others with a credible, ambitious commitment to tackle climate change”, said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

“This is the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target”, she said. The country’s commitment was made possible by its ambitious clean energy policies and investments enacted over the past decade. Reducing its use of coal, which still generates three-fourths of China’s electricity, is also a key element of China’s renewable energy target of 20 percent non-fossil fuels in “primary energy consumption by 2030?.

“China is becoming aware that the situation is more complicated than it initially seemed in Africa, and it is realising that it has a lot to learn from countries that have experience on the continent”, Alice Ekman, of the French Institute for Foreign Relations (IFRI), told RFI. “It might be hard to invest in a green manner at the beginning, but it pays in the long run”, said Massachusetts Jun, chief economist with the research bureau under China’s central bank.

Paris hopes the positive contribution from the world’s biggest polluter will boost the negotiations, which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday were moving at a “snail’s pace”.

Although China’s INDC foresees that the country’s Carbon dioxide emissions will reach its peak around 2030, the question remains over what that peak will actually be.