China’s lead negotiator for the upcoming United Nations climate negotiations has suggested it would cost China over $6.6 trillion to meet its own greenhouse gas reduction targets.
A Reuters report from earlier this week revealed that Xie Zhenhua, special representative for climate change affairs at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, suggested that the objectives China will lay out for herself should come by the end of June, and will be “quite ambitious.”
The revelation came as Xie was part of a three-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue forum in Washington.
“We will need to carry out international cooperation and research and development to reduce the costs of relevant technologies and to innovate so that we can reach our objectives,” he told reporters at a State Department briefing.
It is believed that China’s previous goals announced in November of 2014 will be included in the upcoming announcements. China made it clear last year that it was hoping to acquire 20% of its annual electricity via renewable energy generation by 2030. The goals were announced in tandem with a significant trade agreement with the United States, which saw both countries making substantial promises.
What’s most important is that recent studies and evidence have shown that China need not sacrifice economic development to achieve their environmental targets. A recent study released by the International Energy Agency highlights this fact, revealing that China’s emissions declined in 2014 for the first time since 1999, dropping by 1.5%, while the country was still growing economically.
The figures come a few months following China’s own figures released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics show that China’s coal consumption had fell by 2.9% in 2014.
Around the same time as the November talks between the US and China, which also revealed the beginnings of China’s own climate goals, a new study was released which further confirmed the likelihood that China could decouple economic growth from carbon emission decreases.
“China can achieve economic development, energy security and reduce pollution at the same time,” said the authors of a new study conducted by Tsinghua University.
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