Expert Blog

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

Barbara Finamore
December 06, 2010

This post was co-authored with NRDC China Energy Efficiency/DSM Project Director Mona Yew and NRDC legal fellow Bruce Ho.

As we begin a new round of international climate negotiations in Cancun, China has taken another potentially giant step towards meeting its climate pledge. On November 4, 2010, China’s central government enacted national energy efficiency regulations that will establish national utility demand-side management, or DSM programs.

Deborah Seligsohn
December 05, 2010

As the first week of negotiations in Cancun concludes, China has been stressing its progress at home. That China takes the climate change issue seriously was the principal message at a recent Cancun event from Su Wei, the Director-General of China’s Climate Change Department under its powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and lead climate negotiator.

Deborah Seligsohn
November 30, 2010

As negotiators arrive in Cancun for the next round of global climate talks, speculation once again hovers around China’s positions. China is a tough negotiator, and we can once again see it expressing concern about its core issues, including developed country mitigation commitments, technology transfer and the adequacy of financing. But as we look to negotiating positions, it is also worth stepping back for a minute to reflect on what China is doing domestically and how China’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and low carbon technologies can contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.

Angel Hsu
November 30, 2010

“Late last year, Ren and around 40 other young Chinese people arrived in Copenhagen, hoping to break the silence of their peers on the international issue of climate change. They constituted the largest Chinese youth group ever to take part in a United Nations climate-change summit.”

-China Dialogue, April 14, 2010

Deborah Seligsohn
November 12, 2010

Anyone interested in how China can both use coal and ultimately reduce its carbon emissions should read the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly. James Fallows, who recently spent three years living in China, getting a handle on how things actually work beyond the rhetoric (see his 2009 book Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China), goes deep into the reasons for China’s coal dependence and the way it can be addressed through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Joanna Lewis and Deborah Seligsohn
November 04, 2010

While the UN climate talks at Tianjin went slowly, a trip to China offered the opportunity for the world to see the successes in wind technology development and deployment experienced there and throughout the region. This progress was highlighted in both a wind-focused side event at the Tianjin conference that Joanna Lewis organized for Georgetown University, and at the annual China Windpower 2010 conference held in Beijing the week after the climate talks.

Deborah Seligsohn
October 29, 2010

In addition to the Party Plenum Communique (discussed on this site last week), China’s Communist Party in its annual meeting (called a Plenum) issued an “opinion” on the 12th Five Year Plan. This essentially is a set of instructions and parameters to drafters of the plan. My colleague Fong Wee Kean in the WRI Beijing office translated the full paragraph 22 on climate change into English.

Sarah Forbes, Deborah Seligsohn and Logan West
October 25, 2010

As the international community confronts climate change, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) continues to be one of the leading technical options for reducing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. Newly-minted in the updated Oxford English Dictionary, CCS is a process integrating a chain of technologies to capture CO2 emissions from major point sources such as fossil fuel plants (coal, oil, natural gas) or other industrial (e.g. cement production) processes and then store the CO2 permanently underground. In some cases, the stored CO2 can be used to enhance production of natural gas and oil. Numerous research and demonstration projects to advance CCS technologies are already underway in China, the U.S., and the rest of the world with more on the way.

Deborah Seligsohn
October 20, 2010

A number of Chinese and international news outlets reported Monday that China’s next energy intensity reduction target (2011-2015) is likely to be 17.3%. These articles quote a Deputy Director named Huang Li at the Chinese National Energy Administration. This does not appear to be an official announcement, but rather one official’s comments on likely policy direction. The same People’s Daily article that quotes Huang stating the 17.3% target for the next five year plan and 16.6% for the following plan (2016-2020), also quotes an official from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as suggesting the next energy intensity target would be between 15 and 20%.

Luke Schoen
October 13, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced its third grant under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will receive $12.5 million from DOE over the next five years to lead a consortium on energy-efficient building technologies.