Expert Blog

ChinaFAQs experts react to the latest headlines about China climate and energy issues.

Luke Schoen
May 12, 2011

Bill Gates, the world-famous billionaire founder of Microsoft who has more recently become a supporter of clean energy, has added his voice to the growing chorus of top American CEOs calling for the U.S. to maintain its lead in innovation.

Deborah Seligsohn
April 28, 2011

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researchers present new “bottom up” data

A group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, including ChinaFAQs Network Experts,1 has come out with a new and much more detailed projection of China’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through 2050. The result of this more intensive, “bottom up” analysis is good news for global energy security and the climate. The group’s projection suggests that Chinese energy use could actually plateau before 2050 and greenhouse emissions could peak between 2025 and 2030.

April 26, 2011

In a recent exchange, ChinaFAQs experts set the record straight on China’s clean energy actions in commenting on an op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg.

April 25, 2011

A new study by Chinese researchers finds that China’s provinces could take very different paths to achieving China’s 2020 goal of reducing carbon intensity by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels. One energy-poor province included in the study, for instance, could rely on boosting nuclear power – while another coal-rich province could emphasize energy efficiency and strong economic growth.

Stephanie Ohshita and Lynn Price
April 18, 2011

With Premier Wen Jiabao’s announcements on the 12th Five-Year Plan (12th FYP), China is tasked with improving the national energy intensity of its economy (energy per unit of GDP) by 16% over the next five years.1 Attention now turns to allocation of local-level targets. For the 12th FYP, the Chinese government has indicated that it seeks to use a more scientific methodology to better estimate the varying potential for energy saving across the provinces, to facilitate a structural shift to low-carbon development, as well as to achieve an equitable distribution of targets. What would such a methodology look like, and what targets would result from it?

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with collaboration from China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI), has developed a sector-based methodology for target allocation among the provinces. The methodology utilizes measurable indicators of each province’s energy and economic conditions to show transparency and effectiveness in meeting the national goal. Findings and analysis are available in a March 2011 report and highlighted here.2

Deborah Seligsohn
April 15, 2011

When I recently testified at the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, a phrase that came up in regard to China’s energy policy was that China is pursuing “an all-of-the-above strategy,” in other words generating supply from as many sources as possible. (full hearing details) There is nothing terribly remarkable about the idea that China is pursuing diversified supply. However, the implication of the discussion was that China’s approach is focused on the supply side, and that seems backwards.

April 11, 2011

On April 5, 2011, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and ChinaFAQs held a briefing on China’s increasing role in advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate policies. China is a leader in the deployment of clean energy technologies, and the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels. The United States and China cooperate on a number of clean energy initiatives, producing benefits for both countries.

Jake Schmidt, NRDC
March 29, 2011

China invested $54.4 billion on clean energy in 2010, $20 billion more than the U.S., according to the latest report from Pew Charitable Trusts and Bloomberg New Energy Finance released today. This is one-fifth of a global market that is growing at a record 30% pace. The competitive position of the U.S. has “deteriorated” so much that it slipped down to number three in private investment, as small-scale solar installations launched Germany into the number two spot. Pew and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s take-away: policies matter as China and Germany had strong ones and US policies stagnated.

Read the full post at Jake Schmidt’s NRDC Switchboard blog.

Deborah Seligsohn and Xiaomei Tan
March 23, 2011

Professor Hu Angang, Director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University, published a piece on the Xinhua website last October that outlined the process for developing the 12th Five-Year Plan. The plan (available in Chinese here, also see an English summary of the energy and environment components here) was adopted at the close of this year’s National People’s Congress, March 14.

Professor Hu’s summary describes a step-by-step process involving thousands of officials, stakeholders and experts. The article itself also shows how the Chinese government has become more interested in informing the public about government processes.

We provide a summary of Prof. Hu’s description below:

Policy and Governance
Barbara Finamore
March 23, 2011

With the adoption of its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has cemented key long-term strategies for greening GDP, controlling energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and key pollutants, and capitalizing on the growing low-carbon economy (full Chinese plan). Environment and climate are given the most prominent position ever in a Five Year Plan, aspirations that will be backed up by a number of concrete planning documents over the coming months.

Read the full post at Barbara Finamore’s NRDC Switchboard Blog.