Expert Blog

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

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.

Deborah Seligsohn and Angel Hsu
March 07, 2011

The draft of China’s much-anticipated 12th Five-Year Plan was released this Saturday, March 5 at the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). The Plan will actually be brought to a vote at the close of the session later this week. While there may be some changes to the Plan, in past years these have not been large.

Barbara Finamore
March 05, 2011

China’s annual parliamentary session opened Saturday morning, with 3,000 National People’s Congress members and 2,000 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) gathered in the Great Hall of the People to hear Premier Wen Jiabao deliver the annual report reviewing the work of the government in 2010 and looking forward to the Twelfth Five Year Plan, including key targets of the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Deborah Seligsohn
March 04, 2011

In a move that exceeded expectations, China’s former Minister in charge of the National Energy Administration, Zhang Guobao, announced yesterday that for the 12th Five Year Plan China would cap total energy use at 4 billion tons coal equivalent (TCE) by 2015. There had been rumors that China would adopt a total coal cap in the 12th Five Year Plan, but Zhang’s announcement goes beyond just coal to include all energy sources.

Angel Hsu and Deborah Seligsohn
March 01, 2011

China’s annual political meetings begin on Thursday March 3 and the major outcome will be the announcement of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Votes at both the advisory China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, opening March 3) and the National People’s Congress (NPC, opening March 5) are not in question. But the content of the Five-Year Plan, as well as various government work reports and major pieces of legislation, are only revealed during the meetings.

Nick Price
February 25, 2011

Faced with a rapidly urbanizing population, China’s central government has set out to boost mass transit use in its largest cities to 60% from the current 35%. Yet with forecasts of up to 250 million cars on its roadways by 2025, China must seek innovative ways to tackle that goal. The recent success of the southern city of Guangzhou’s bus rapid transit system may provide part of the answer.

Luke Schoen
February 25, 2011

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on Wednesday, February 16th, to receive testimony from Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu on the Department of Energy’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request. In the Chairman’s opening statement, Senator Bingaman (D-NM) said: “…we actually spend less than China on energy R&D per unit of GDP. China is investing heavily in manufacturing and deploying wind, solar, and nuclear power plants. These investments are already translating into global sales and domestic Chinese jobs in an area where the United States once led the world.”