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China has released their ambitious emissions reduction plan, a great achievement coming form the world's largest carbon emitter!
China's aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60-65% from 2005 levels under a plan submitted to the United Nations ahead of the imperative climate change talks in Paris later this year.
According to the Guardian, China pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels as part of its primary energy consumption to an estimated 20% by 2030. The office of Prime Minister Li Kegiang said that emissions "will peak by around 2030" and China would work hard to achieve the target even earlier.
The Guardian states,
"China plans to increase its installed capacity of wind power to 200GW and solar power to around 100 gigawatts (GW), up from 95.81GW and 28GW today, respectively. It will also increase its use of natural gas which is expected to make up more than 10% of its primary energy consumption by 2020."- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If the world's biggest emitter can make strong targets for real change, so can we all.
Here's some views from The Climate Action Network (CAN) members on the news:
"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. Today's pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious action. 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."
- Li Shuo, climate analyst Greenpeace China
"This is the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target. In doing so, China has committed to both global climate security and to a transformational energy transition at home. We emphasize the importance of the fact that China has made commitments beyond its responsibility as a developing country. But we hope that China will continue to find ways to reduce its emissions, which will in turn drive global markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency."
- Samantha Smith, Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader, WWF.
It seems that the general consensus is that this is a great starting point, but hopefully China and the rest of the world will continue to strive for more ways to reduce emissions. Now we wait for the rest of the world's commitments to cutting carbon which will be negotiated this December in Paris. These crucial negotiations could change the world and have an extreme impact on how we cut carbon in the future.
Header Image by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters