Development, Economics, and Energy

China’s Decline in Coal Consumption Drives Global Slowdown in Emissions

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.

In his address to the World Economic Forum today, Chinese President Xi showed China‚Äôs willingness to step into a growing global leadership role, including on climate change. Xi called for all countries to hold fast to the hard-won Paris Agreement, saying ‚Äúwalking away‚ÄĚ from the pact would threaten future generations, and that green development is already showing promising results. This was a continuation of the stance China took during the climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco last year, where the country indicated its intent to advance ambitious climate action.

China is Leaving the U.S. Behind on Clean Energy Investment

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.

As 2017 begins, China is poised to leap ahead of the United States on clean energy to become the most important player in the global market. Last year, China increased its foreign investment in renewables by 60 percent to reach a record $32 billion, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. This includes 11 new overseas investment deals worth more than $1 billion each.

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 Signs Paris Agreement, Will Encourage Others to Join

This post originally appeared on the World Resources Institute’s live blog covering the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To follow the signing ceremony via WRI’s live blog, click here.

The signing of the landmark international climate change agreement reached in Paris in December is taking place today at the United Nations in New York. China is represented by Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of China, and Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Zhang said that after China signs the Paris Agreement today, it will work hard to earnestly implement it. Zhang said China will finalize its internal process to join the agreement before it hosts the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, and will encourage other G20 members to quickly join the agreement as well.

U.S. and China To Sign, Join Paris Agreement This Year, Deepen Cooperation on Climate and Clean Energy

The United States and China have issued a joint presidential statement confirming that they will each sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and take steps to join the agreement as early as possible this year, and calling on other countries to do the same. This statement builds on the action generated by the presidential joint statements over the last two years, which has been an important catalyst of international action on climate change. The new showing of mutual confidence and continued commitment will contribute to worldwide momentum to tackle climate change and implement the Paris Agreement.

How China's 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment

This post originally appeared on ChinaFile.

For the first time ever, a senior Chinese leader announced in his work report to the National People‚Äôs Congress‚ÄĒhis most important formal speech of the year‚ÄĒthat environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be ‚Äúseverely punished.‚ÄĚ Premier Li Keqiang reported that China had succeeded in meeting or exceeding the previous Five-Year Plan‚Äôs environmental goals. The draft 13th Five-Year Plan, released March 5 and scheduled to be passed (likely without amendment) in the coming days, builds on that success, requiring greater reductions in the emissions of many pollutants.

Press Call Analyzing China's 13th Five Year Plan

China recently released its 13th Five Year Plan, which will guide China’s economic, social, and environmental policy through 2020. The plan makes clear that China is integrating climate action into its strategy for economic development. It sets China on course to meet or exceed its international climate commitments, and lays out a strategy for a rebalancing of the economy toward cleaner drivers of growth.

To analyze the key elements of the Five Year Plan in the context of the progress China has achieved and the country’s remaining challenges, ChinaFAQs organized a press conference call on March 18th.

For the audio of the press call, click here.

China’s Thirteenth Five-Year Plan Paves the Way for a CO2 Emissions Peak

Based on recent economic developments and the newly-released Thirteenth Five-Year Plan, China is well on its way to reaching its climate goal of peak CO2 emissions by 2030.

The Plan charts the overarching course of China’s economic and social development through 2020, and will be translated into plans for provinces and specific sectors like energy in the coming months and years. The national plan, by reflecting the government’s high-level priorities, provides important momentum toward meeting China’s climate change commitments.

China’s Low-Carbon Strategy: Could a Carbon Tax Play a Role?

As reflected in the emphasis on ‚Äúgreen development‚ÄĚ of the recently-released 13th Five Year Plan, China‚Äôs leaders recognize the need to shift to a more sustainable, climate-friendly model of development. They have signaled that they believe market pricing is a key element of the new model, and that carbon pricing is an important policy instrument for achieving this shift. While China‚Äôs carbon trading pilots and planned national trading system have received much attention, a carbon tax is also being seriously discussed. Government think tanks have proposed various options for the sectors to be covered, tax administration, and use of the revenue to complement existing policies.

5 Questions: What Does China’s New Five-Year Plan Mean for Climate Action?

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China has officially unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which will guide the country’s economic and social development from 2016 through 2020. This latest edition builds on progress made over the last five years, and makes clear that environmental stewardship is an increasingly integral component of China’s development.

The plan lays out targets and measures to address several sustainability challenges—including climate change, air pollution, water, urbanization, transportation and more. The new plan’s high-level targets and policies will continue to strengthen China’s efforts to shift to a more sustainable model of growth and deliver on its climate commitments. Here’s a look at the highlights and importance of the plan for China’s action on energy and climate change.