Why China is Acting on Clean Energy

Why is China pursuing a low-carbon energy strategy, what are the benefits and challenges, and what can other nations learn from the Chinese experience?

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Emissions Trading in China: First Reports from the Field

China has set up seven carbon emissions trading pilots. How are they going?

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Clearer Skies Over China – Coping with Dirty Air and Climate Change

A look at China’s past efforts at controlling air pollution and the impacts of a carbon tax on Chinese GDP, air quality, and carbon emissions.

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4 Promising Themes Emerge in U.S.-China Agreements at Strategic and Economic Dialogue

What came out of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group Report?

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Latest from ChinaFAQs

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Announcements on Climate Change and Low-Carbon Technology

Cooperation on climate change and air pollution were important themes of this week’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Beijing, an annual meeting among high-level diplomats from both nations. The U.S. and Chinese representatives discussed their respective efforts to develop targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and announced a series of agreements under the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group.

China and the United States Accelerate Efforts on Carbon Capture and Storage

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China and the United States established eight new pacts this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

China's Climate and Energy Policies: Looking for the Best New Initiatives

Key Points:

  • China has been experimenting with many different policies to control carbon and energy intensity
  • By updating building codes to international best practices, China could save in 20 years an equivalent of the amount of CO2 that would be emitted by 15 large coal fired power plants over 20 years.
  • If China continues to improve fuel efficiency standards at its current rate, it will save the equivalent of the amount of CO2 that would be emitted by 10 large coal fired power plants over 20 years.
  • By expanding from pilots to a national level policy, the use of environmental priorities in selecting what electricity sources to use to respond to increased demand could significantly reduce coal use in the power sector.

ChinaFAQs: What Are China's National Climate and Energy Targets?

Key Points:

  • China has a long term target to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020
  • China also has binding targets to reduce energy intensity by 16% from 2010 levels by 2015 and carbon intensity by 17% from 2010 levels by 2015
  • China has a target to reduce coal consumption as a percentage of primary energy to below 65% by 2017
  • China has ambitious targets for renewable energy in 2015, 2017, and 2020

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2013

Key Points:

  • Currently, China gets about 9% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. Official targets aim to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to at least 11.4% in 2015 and 15% in 2020.
  • Hydropower: China currently has the largest hydropower capacity in the world, with about 229 gigawatts (GW) currently, and a target of 290 GW for 2015.
  • Wind Power: China ranks 1st in the world in installed wind power capacity, with about 89 GW. China is also the world’s fastest-growing installer of wind, and it aims to have 100 GW of wind installed by 2015.
  • Solar: China is also attempting to dramatically scale up solar power, planning to have at least 35 GW of installed solar by 2015, and currently has around 19 GW installed.
  • Investment: China was the number one investor in renewable energy in 2013, accounting for nearly a fifth of global investment.

ChinaFAQs - Taking Stronger Action on Climate Change: China and the United States

Key Questions:

  • Q: Is it true that China is not doing anything to address climate change?
    A: No, it is not true. China is taking action on multiple fronts to address the climate problem.
  • Q: Is it true that China’s coal use and greenhouse gas emissions are inevitably going to continue to rise throughout the 21st century regardless of what China tries to do?
    A: No. China’s carbon emissions and coal use rose significantly in the 2000s, but have begun slowing down in recent years.
  • Q: Does it make sense for the U.S. to take climate action given what we know about China’s next steps on climate?
    A: Yes. China is now at a turning point regarding air quality and climate action.

5 ChinaFAQs Experts Testify Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

The purpose of this hearing was to examine China’s domestic and international clean energy policies, as well as the state of U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy, in order to provide recommendations to Congress.

The following are short summaries and links to the testimony of the five ChinaFAQs experts: