China Releases Climate and Energy Policy White Papers

China’s Information Office of the State Council recently issued a white paper titled “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2012)”, made available in the run-up to the UNFCCC international negotiations on climate change currently underway in Doha, Qatar. In its own words, the paper aims “to enable all parties to fully understand China’s actions and policies on climate change, and to set out the positive results achieved since 2011.”

The paper states that “the Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change,” recalling that the country’s 12th Five Year Plan set “binding targets to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent, cut CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 17 percent, and raise the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the overall primary energy mix to 11.4 percent.” The paper also calls for results from the Doha talks in four areas:

  1. Arrange for the implementation of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
  2. Make further progress on issues of concern to developing countries, such as mitigation, adaptation, funding, technology transfer and capacity building.
  3. Follow up on issues left unresolved in the Bali Action Plan, such as fairness, trade, and intellectual property rights.
  4. Exchange views on the continued enforcement of the UNFCCC after 2020.

The Chinese government also released a white paper on Energy policy in October, titled “China’s Energy Policy 2012”, in which it clearly states the revised energy targets first laid out in the 12th Five Year Plan, and discusses the challenges it faces in restructuring the energy supply and consumption of the Chinese economy. (read more…)

China also submitted its “Second National Communication on Climate Change of the People’s Republic of China” to the UNFCCC in November. The Communication contains a national greenhouse gas inventory of China’s emissions in 2005, and descriptions of the impacts of climate change in China and China’s policies and actions on climate change mitigation.

Image courtesy of Neil Palmer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.