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China can exceed its global climate change commitments if it adopts a proposal to raise the consumption of non-fossil energy sources to 20% by 2025 and succeeds in efforts to cut carbon intensity by 18%, the International Energy Agency said.

Asserting that “no pledge is as significant as China’s” when it comes to slashing greenhouse gases, the IEA on Sept. 29 issued a roadmap detailing how the world’s largest emitter can speed up its transition from fossil fuels.

The report was released a month ahead of a high-stakes United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where countries are expected to significantly ratchet up their ambitions. The Chinese government requested the report from the agency, which works with nations to develop energy strategies.

Several recent scientific reports have warned that the goal under the Paris Agreement on climate change to keep warming to 1.5 degrees C from preindustrial levels is rapidly slipping away. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has declared the current situation “a code red for humanity.”

With China consuming more energy and accounting for more carbon releases than any other country, its success in shifting away from coal and natural gas will determine whether the 1.5 degrees C goal is attainable, the IEA analysis asserted.

[Karin Rives]

More: IEA study: China can peak emissions by mid-2020s to help meet global Paris goal

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