China’s CO2 emissions may have peaked
Or so say the results of the latest analysis conducted by Climate Action Tracker (CAT). According to the analysis, CO2 emissions may in fact have already stopped increasing and reached peak levels. This would make China over a decade early in meeting their commitment in the Paris Agreement, where the promise is for CO2 levels to peak by 2030.
Massive building of solar panels and large investments into renewable energy has improved the air quality and cut emissions. Renewables are also beginning to take coals’ place in the economy. Demands for coal have fallen, and the government recently cancelled plans for just over 100 coal-fired power plants.
However, the latest Five Year plan has set out to cool down new wind power installations, and to keep solar installations at the same number as in 2015. This is mainly due to energy overcapacity, for both coal and renewable energy.
Even so, China will still be the global leader in wind and solar installations for the next years. Chinese Energy Agency plans to increase energy consumption from non-fossil fuels sources to 15 percent, and from natural gas to 10 percent during the 2016-2020 period. Coal’s share in the energy consumption is targeted to fall from 64 percent in 2015 to 58 percent by 2020.
Author: Innovation Norway Beijing’s Legal Intern: Cathrine Lund.
Sources: Lauri Myllyvirta, Greenpeace, 2016: Why China is aiming low on having renewables in its next five year plan;
Climate Observer, 2017: Details of five-year plan confirms China’s clean energy commitments;
Climate Action Tracker, 2017, Action by China and India slows emissions growth, President Trump’s policies to cause US Emissions to flatten