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China INDC Puts World Emission Plans Over 50%

As telegraphed by promises last fall and repeated as recently as yesterday by Yang Yanyi, Beijing’s ambassador to the EU, China has kept its word and submitted a United Nations climate INDC. This occurs as the UN high-level meeting in New York winds down and an EU–China summit opens in Paris.

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

The #1 greenhouse gas emitter’s contribution means that plans from the 190+ UN nations now cover over half the world’s GHG emissions.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reiterated to EU leaders in Brussels yesterday his nation’s determination to work with the international community to seek a “fair, reasonable, win-win” approach to global climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The new China INDC is now available at the UNFCCC submissions website, along with new plans from Iceland and the Republic of Korea. It reiterates the huge and rapidly developing nation’s commitment made at the summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama in November 2014 to limit the emerging nation’s greenhouse gas output to a peaking target date around 2030. “China will work hard to achieve the target at an even earlier date,” Li Keqiang noted in a statement reported by Reuters.

Scaling up from the 40–45% goal for 2020, the China INDC pledges to cut the carbon emissions/GDP ratio for 2030 by 60% or more over 2005 levels. The Asian nation will also increase its renewable energy capacity, which rose 31% last year, to a full 20% of the energy mix by 2030. A national spokesperson emphasized wind and solar in yesterday’s New York UN talk. China has already initiated carbon emission trading pilot programs in 7 provinces and cities and low-carbon development pilots in 42 provinces and cities. It also pledges to increase forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters over the 2005 level and promote a low-carbon way of life.

German news outlet Deutsche Welle reports that World Bank chief economist Marianne Fay stated that the China INDC should be seen as “a floor, not a ceiling.”

“China likes to under-promise and over-deliver,” Fay said. Sources in French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s team tell French news agency AFP that the Chinese INDC announcement might also push India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, to set a clearer emissions target.

Taking off another heavy source of pressure reflected in recent securities trading, China also opined that it would like to see Greece remain in the Eurozone and would help in making this possible.

More details on the China INDC and those of five other nations that submitted plans recently will follow.

 
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covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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