China’s premier has announced that his country will attempt to curb its carbon emissions before a 2030 target.
During a visit to Paris this week, Premier Li Keqiang announced plans for his country to reduce carbon emissions. Specifically, “China’s carbon dioxide emissions will peak by around 2030, but China will work hard to achieve the target at an even earlier date,” Premier Li said.
China intends to increase its share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy generation role to approximately 20% by 2030, while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% on its 2005 levels.
The new policies were announced in the wake of Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Paris and meeting with French President Francois Hollande, in advance of the December UN climate change talks which are set to be hosted by France.
“I am very happy that Premier Li has announced the ambitious targets in my city, which has shouldered the great task of saving this planet this year,” said Pierre Calame, president of the China-Europa Forum Foundation, which is based in Paris, adding that Li’s announcement is “good news and big news. I have seen the Chinese government’s serious commitment.”
The announcement comes following numerous rumours surrounding China’s climate targets.
Last week China’s lead negotiator for the upcoming UN climate change negotiations suggested that it could cost upwards of $6.6 trillion to meet its own greenhouse gas emission targets, which it intended to release by the end of June. These targets were submitted to the United Nations on June 30, as part of China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), in advance of Premier Li Keqiang’s being able to announce them to the world.
“China has only ever been on defence when it comes to climate change, but today’s announcement is the first step for a more active role. For success in Paris, however, all players – including China and the EU – need to up their game,” said Li Shuo, climate analyst for Greenpeace China.
“Today’s pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious action,” added Li Shuo. “It does not fully reflect the significant energy transition that is already taking place in China. Given the dramatic fall in coal consumption, robust renewable energy uptake, and the urgent need to address air pollution, we believe the country can go well beyond what it has proposed today.”
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