Tuesday, June 30, 2015

China Just Made Its Plans to Fight Climate Change Official

 Rooftop solar panels (Credit: crystal51/Shutterstock) Click to Enlarge.
On Tuesday, China released long-awaited final greenhouse gas targets as part of its submission to the United Nations climate talks in Paris later this year.

Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, said in a statement the country “will work hard” to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030, which was its previous commitment as part of the United States-China joint pledge from November 2014, the first time China had agreed to mitigate emissions.

The statement also said that China will cut its carbon intensity, or greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP, by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a large increase from its 40-45 percent goal for 2020.
“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 Stian Reklev at Carbon Pulse.

The statement also reaffirms China’s goal of increasing non-fossil fuel sources of energy consumption to about 20 percent by 2030.
While these are not bold new targets, they are of critical importance to the international negotiations surrounding the climate talks at the end of the year in which leaders hope to establish a post-2020 agreement that applies to all nations.  China is the world’s second largest economy and biggest greenhouse gas emitter, and no deal would be achievable without their cooperation.

With China officially submitting its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC, the world’s three largest carbon polluters, including the United States and the European Union, have all made commitments ahead of the Paris Summit.  The United States plans to to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and to make its best efforts to reduce by them by 28 percent.  EU leaders have agreed to a 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40 percent compared to 1990.

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