Energy and Emissions Data

China’s performance on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index: What are the key takeaways?

Amidst headlines detailing off-the-charts air pollution in Beijing, it may come as a surprise that China’s latest environmental scorecard does boast bright spots. The 2014 Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) – a biennial global ranking of how well countries perform on a range of critical environmental issues – ranks China at 118 out of 178 countries. With respect to other emerging economies with rapid growth and development, China does not fare as well overall as Brazil (77th), Russia (73rd), or South Africa (72th), but is considerably ahead of India, which ranked 155th. However, China is a leader in addressing climate change and is taking corrective action to address weaknesses.

ChinaFAQs: What Are China's National Climate and Energy Targets?

Key Points:

  • China has a long term target to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020
  • China also has binding targets to reduce energy intensity by 16% from 2010 levels by 2015 and carbon intensity by 17% from 2010 levels by 2015
  • China has a target to reduce coal consumption as a percentage of primary energy to below 65% by 2017
  • China has ambitious targets for renewable energy in 2015 and 2020

Clearer Skies Over China – Coping with Dirty Air and Climate Change

Key Points:

  • A U.S.-Chinese team led by the Harvard China Project has developed a comprehensive framework for evaluating the economic and environmental costs and benefits of national policies to control air pollution and CO2 emissions in China.
  • Contrary to some perceptions of Chinese inaction on air pollution, China’s SO2 control policy of 2006-2010 may have been one of the most swiftly successful air pollution policies on record judged by key criteria: sulfur emissions fell sharply and prevented as many as 74,000 premature deaths from fine particle (PM2.5) air pollution in 2010 alone, all at little economic cost.
  • Looking to the future, a modest tax on carbon dioxide, starting small and rising to about $6.50 per ton in 2020 (in 2007 dollars), could lead to a 19% reduction in China’s CO2 emissions in 2020 compared to a scenario with no tax, with little effect on GDP growth and consumption over the long run.
  • Such a carbon tax would also deliver powerful ancillary benefits: reduced concentrations of an array of domestic air pollutants and prevention of as many as 89,000 premature deaths a year by 2020.

ChinaFAQs — Short Take

Library File: 

Summary of key information on China’s actions on climate and clean energy and the implications for the United States.

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China - An Overview

Key Points

  • Currently, China gets about 8% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. Official targets aim to increase that share to at least 11.4 % in 2015 and 15% in 2020.
  • Solar Power: China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of solar cells (PVs). In 2012, China manufactured 30% of all PV cells in the world.

Prologue to the 2013 U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue – ChinaFAQs Press Call

ChinaFAQs climate and energy experts and top media representatives took part in a ChinaFAQs press call on July 8th to preview the July 10th and 11th U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), which for the first time will include a designated Climate Change Working Group. ChinaFAQs network experts discussed recent events and potential areas of U.S.-China cooperation, including air pollution, shale gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and more. The experts also offered insights into what the S&ED will mean for U.S.

New ChinaFAQs Fact Sheet on Renewable Energy: A Graphical Overview of 2012

China is attempting to dramatically increase the country’s renewable energy supply by 2015. Recently released data shows that China made progress towards reaching this goal in 2012. China continues to make large investments in renewable energy, with over 80% more investment than the U.S. last year. China remains the country with the world’s most installed wind capacity, and it is neck and neck with the U.S. in terms of installed solar PV capacity.

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2012

Key Points:

  • Currently, China gets about 8% of its total primary energy from renewable sources. Official targets aim to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to at least 11.4% in 2015 and 15% in 2020.1
  • Hydropower: China currently has the largest hydropower capacity in the world, with about 229 gigawatts (GW) currently, and a target of 290 GW for 2015.
  • Wind Power: China ranks 1st in the world in installed wind power capacity, with about 75 GW. China is also the world’s fastest-growing installer of wind, and it aims to have 100 GW of wind installed by 2015.2
  • Solar: China is also attempting to dramatically scale up solar power, planning to have at least 35 GW of installed solar by 2015, and currently has around 7.5 GW installed.
  • Investment: China was the number one invester in renewable energy in 2012, accounting for nearly a quarter of global investment

China's 2012 Energy Report Card

China’s 12th Five Year Plan includes an array of energy targets that it hopes to achieve by 2015. The targets, such as increasing the share of non-fossil energy to 11.4% of the total energy supply and cutting the economy’s carbon intensity by 17% by 2015, are part of a larger plan for China to reach a 40-45% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020 relative to 2005 levels. ChinaFAQs expert Trevor Houser has crunched the numbers provided by China’s National Bureau of Statistics and come up with a report card on the country’s progress towards achieving its climate and energy goals.

Shenzhen announces start date for emissions trading

Shenzhen, a city of 11 million people just north of Hong Kong, has announced that it will begin emission trading on June 17. Shenzhen is one of the seven Chinese cities and provinces that have been developing pilot programs for carbon emissions trading.