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

An analysis of China’s key climate targets and the steps China is taking to meet them.

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Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2014

A graphical overview of China’s renewable energy investment and installed capacity in 2014.

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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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U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership (USCREP)

A description of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership and its work on policy and planning, grid integration, standards and certification, and renewable technology and policy.

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Latest from ChinaFAQs

4 Lessons on Scaling Up Sustainable Transport in US and Chinese Cities

This post originally appeared on WRI’s insights blog.

Transportation is already a major source of CO2 emissions in both China and the United States—at 20 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The percentage of people traveling by car is increasing in Chinese cities, rising from 15 percent to 34 percent in Beijing between 2002 and 2013, creating air pollution and fueling climate change.

23 Chinese Cities Commit to Peak Carbon Emissions by 2030

This post originally appeared on WRI’s insights blog.

More than half the world’s people live in cities, and cities are responsible for more than 70 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions on Earth. These dramatic statistics mean cities have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. This is especially crucial in China, where fast-growing metropolitan areas like Chengdu – with a population of 14 million – have become engines for economic, scientific and technological progress. Until recently, Chengdu has not focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as it emphasized sustainable development.

U.S.-China S&ED Outcomes Show Continued Progress on Climate Change Cooperation

The eighth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue concluded today, June 7th, in Beijing. The Dialogue

produced numerous outcomes for U.S.-China cooperation on climate change and energy, which are summarized in the document linked below. (See Section III) The two countries committed to work together to implement the Paris Agreement, launched a new cooperation initiative on renewable energy, and committed to continuation and strengthening of cooperation on a wide array of other low-carbon energy projects.

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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Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2015

Key Points:

  • As of 2015, China got 12% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. China’s 13th Five Year Plan aims to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to 15% in 2020. As part of its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, China committed to increase the non-fossil share to around 20% by 2030.
  • Wind Power: China ranks first in the world in installed wind power capacity, with 139 GW by the end of 2015.
  • Solar Power: China has surpassed Germany to become the world leader in installed solar power, with 50 GW of solar capacity installed by the end of 2015.
  • China is the world’s leading installer of solar and wind power, with world records for capacity installation in 2015 and targets for 100 GW of solar and 200 GW of wind installed by 2020.
  • Investment: For the fourth straight year, China was the number one investor in renewable energy in 2015 with $102.9 billion, accounting for over a third of global investment.

Carbon Capture and Storage: Prospects after Paris

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

Momentum for climate action has surged since the Paris Agreement in December, with increased investment in clean, renewable energy and new energy technologies. But will the Agreement give a needed boost to carbon capture and storage? Known as CCS, this suite of technologies aims to keep climate-warming carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, acting as a bridge to a lower-carbon future.

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.