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China and the United States: Leading on Climate Action--New Challenges, New Opportunities

Key Questions:

  • Q: How have the joint U.S.-China announcements helped create momentum for global climate action?
  • Q: What steps is China taking toward its goals?
    A: China has been taking action to strengthen all the building blocks of its low-carbon strategy, and continues to do so.
  • Q: Do we have reason to believe that China will follow through on its commitments?
    A: Yes. China has already made progress on its energy and emissions targets and has strong reasons of national interest to build on its current efforts.
  • Q: What is the benefit of the U.S. and China, and many other countries, taking action together?
  • Q: With countries acting together, each can have confidence its actions are part of a global effort to address climate change. Moving forward together yields increasing opportunities for all.
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China's 1-2-3 Punch to Tackle Wasted Renewable Energy

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China’s Renewable Energy Law prohibits curtailment, but the problem persists, partly for technical reasons. However, a large part of the problem is not technical. In practice, fossil fuel power plants have priority over renewables, leaving less room for solar and wind power in a country with a large overcapacity of coal-fired power. There is also a lack of clarity on how the renewable energy integration mandate should be enforced. Better-designed and -implemented policies can help. In the last two months, China’s government has thrown three punches to tackle the problem.

In China and Beyond, Action Plans Provide a Path for Improving Building Efficiency

This post originally appeared on TheCityFix.

Unique to China, Five-Year Plans (FYPs) are blueprints that central, state and local governments draft and implement to guide social and economic development. Since 1995, the national government has focused on energy efficiency in buildings in its FYPs, and sub-national governments have followed suit since 2000. Since then, many cities have released Building Energy Efficiency action plans as a sub-component of their FYPs. In fact, incorporating building energy efficiency action plans into FYPs is already a growing trend among many cities across China.

Press Call on China's Climate Action and the 13th Five Year Plan

China’s 13th Five Year Plan, to be released in the coming days, will provide a blueprint for the country’s economic, social, and environmental development through 2020. More specific plans for energy and other sectors are expected following the main plan’s release. The plan comes in the context of China’s increasing climate action in recent years, with three key trends emerging: China is making progress in rebalancing its economy away from heavy industry toward services, limiting coal use, and expanding its use of non-fossil energy.

To discuss these trends and provide an overview of the Five Year Plan process, ChinaFAQs hosted a press teleconference on March 4th.

For the audio of the press call, click here.

Ranping Song

Ranping Song is the Developing Country Climate Action Manager at the World Resources Institute. Working with the International Climate Action Initiative of WRI’s Global Climate Program, Ranping serves as the global focal point across WRI for work on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and developing country actions. He engages with and coordinates teams across WRI on the full range of issues addressed in INDCs, including mitigation, adaptation and finance. He also coordinates with in-country climate team leads in WRI’s country offices and supports them on the development and implementation of climate strategies in developing countries. From 2012 to 2015, Ranping served as the Team Lead for China Climate Program, where he led the development and implementation of climate strategy in China. Before then, he served as an Associate and Program Manager for the GHG Protocol in China.

Prior to joining WRI, Ranping was the China Campaign Manager for The Climate Group in Beijing. There he worked to engage companies and government agencies to promote climate friendly products in order to reduce carbon footprints. Before then, he worked for the United Nations Development Group in New York.

Ranping has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Lanzhou University.

Contact Info: 

World Resources Institute
rsong@wri.org
+1 (202) 729-7896

In Paris, China Announces Promising Elements of National Emissions Trading System

From the Paris Climate Negotiations

Negotiators from around the world have gathered in Paris to finalize a global climate agreement, which will be supported by the commitments of over 180 countries to domestic climate action included in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). In September, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that China will launch a national emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2017 as one of the key policy instruments that China will use to achieve its own commitment to peak carbon emissions around 2030 or earlier. While questions remain about how China will implement a complex market-based mechanism, recent announcements by Chinese officials shed light on promising plans for the policy’s design and implementation.

US-China Climate Change Announcement Signals New Phase for Global Action

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

Nearly a year ago, the United States and China laid out their national climate action plans for the coming years. These were the first in what is now a substantial list of national climate action plans—plans that will form the basis of a new international climate agreement to be finalized in Paris later this year. Now, the world’s two biggest emitters have taken the next step by cementing their plans, jointly announcing key actions they’ll take to achieve their national goals, and clarifying their views on the upcoming Paris agreement.

On the Path to Paris, Obama and Xi Invite Stronger Global Climate Ambition

The latest Obama-Xi announcement sends a strong message: the two nations are acting fast to enable a global low carbon transition. Friday’s joint announcement is an unprecedented step by the world’s #1 and #2 emitters to commit, at the highest levels, to a strong set of domestic policies and to reinforce global mechanisms that will help to engage peers ahead of the upcoming landmark climate change negotiations in Paris.

China Announces Next Steps in Shift to Low-Carbon Path

As China unveiled its contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate negotiations, affirming the pledges it made in its joint announcement with the U.S. in November, a spokesman for Christian Aid, Mohamed Adow, said, “The pledge marks a significant shift away from a fossil fuel-intensive development path to one focused on renewables on a scale the world has never yet seen.” Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute called it “a serious and credible” effort, and said “China’s commitment was made possible by its ambitious clean energy policies and investments enacted over the past decade.”

Momentum For Paris Agreement Builds from U.S.-China Climate Change Pledges

With the U.S. release of its proposal for the international climate negotiations and proposals expected soon from other countries, the negotiations are intensifying. A key factor in this dynamic is China’s November commitment to peak its emissions and scale up non-fossil energy, which has shifted the global debate on climate action. China is already taking action on multiple fronts to meet its new goals.