March 1, 2017 Read More →

A Chinese Emissions Slowdown in Step Back From Coal

InsideClimate News:

China said its CO2 emissions in 2017 will drop 1 percent from 2016, making it the fourth consecutive year of either zero growth or a decline in the country’s emissions.

China is on track to meet or beat pledges it made prior to the Paris climate agreement to get 15 percent of its energy from clean energy sources including renewables, nuclear and hydropower, and to reduce the energy intensity of its economy by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.  

“There is no doubt China will reach those goals,” Rangping Song, developing country climate action manager for the World Resources Institute said.

An analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concluded that China’s coal consumption peaked three years ago.

China’s total energy consumption grew 1.4 percent in 2016 while CO2 emissions stayed flat,  in part because of a  12 percent growth in clean energy development. After nearly two decades of constant increases, China’s CO2 emissions have remained stable since 2013, Greenpeace said.

Concerns about climate change and extreme air pollution in its urban centers has driven massive renewable energy investments in China.

“The amount of solar that they did last year was more than the U.S. had done in the entire history of U.S. solar deployment,” said Jake Schmidt, the international program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It shows signs that it might be slowing a bit, but slowing from 120 miles an hour to 80 miles an hour is still breaking the speed limit.”

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