Energy and Emissions Data

Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2014

Key Points:

  • As of 2014, China got 11.2% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. Official targets aim to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to at least 11.4% by the end of 2015 and 15% in 2020. China’s contribution to the anticipated international climate agreement includes a target to increase the non-fossil share to around 20% by 2030.
  • Wind Power: China ranks first in the world in installed wind power capacity, with about 110 GW by the end of 2014. China is also the world’s fastest growing installer of wind power, and it aims to have 200 GW installed by 2020.
  • Solar Power: China had nearly 33 GW of solar power capacity installed by the end of 2014, and is attempting to dramatically scale up, planning to install an additional 17.8 GW of solar projects in 2015 and a total of 100 GW by 2020.
  • Investment: China was the number one investor in renewable energy in 2014, accounting for nearly a third of global investment.

China Announces Next Steps in Shift to Low-Carbon Path

As China unveiled its contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate negotiations, affirming the pledges it made in its joint announcement with the U.S. in November, a spokesman for Christian Aid, Mohamed Adow, said, “The pledge marks a significant shift away from a fossil fuel-intensive development path to one focused on renewables on a scale the world has never yet seen.” Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute called it “a serious and credible” effort, and said “China’s commitment was made possible by its ambitious clean energy policies and investments enacted over the past decade.”

Strategic and Economic Dialogue announces climate progress, ChinaFAQs and EESI hold briefing

For the full briefing notice including speakers, topics, and the video recording, click here

At this week’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C., the two countries built on their robust cooperation on climate change and clean energy. The U.S. and China pledged to work together to address obstacles to an “ambitious global climate agreement” at this December’s Conference of the Parties in Paris. They also agreed to continue to discuss each country’s post-2020 plans, and announced a new dialogue on domestic policy. The countries highlighted their progress on the initiatives they jointly announced in November, such as phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and expanding the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).

Reports from China Suggest Low-Carbon Shift in 2014

Drawing on preliminary energy demand data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has estimated that China’s carbon dioxide emissions fell by 2 percent last year, the first reduction in over a decade. Other reports indicate China’s coal consumption also declined, by 2.9 percent, in 2014; and the share of non-fossil energy in China’s energy consumption rose last year, while coal fell as a percentage of the country’s energy mix. According to the International Energy Agency, even as the global economy grew by 3%, global energy-related carbon emissions did not rise in 2014, due to shifts in energy use in China and OECD countries.

Bloomberg article

International Energy Agency press release

Jonathan Moch

Jonathan Moch is a Graduate Research Fellow at the Harvard China Project and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences with Harvard’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group. Jonathan’s research interests center on the interactions and feedbacks between climate change and atmospheric chemistry, with a particular focus on China.

Contact Info: 

Harvard University

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

jmoch@g.harvard.edu

Taking Stronger Action on Climate Change: China and the United States

Key Questions:

  • Q: What did the U.S. and China pledge in their November 11, 2014 joint announcement on climate change?
  • Q: Is it true that under its new pledges, China might avoid doing anything to address climate change until 2030?
    A: No. China will need to take stronger near-term action to meet its commitments and has begun to do so.
  • Q: Is China starting from scratch in trying to fulfill its pledges, or has it already taken steps in this direction?
    A: China is already taking action on multiple fronts to address the climate problem.
  • Q: Do we have reason to believe that China will follow through on its pledges?
    A: Yes. China has already made progress on the low carbon building blocks and has strong reasons of national interest to build on its current efforts.
  • Q: Does it make sense for the U.S. to pursue vigorous action on climate change given China’s commitments?
    A: Yes. China is now at a turning point regarding air quality and climate action, and the two countries can inspire each other and the world to take ambitious steps.

US and China Strike Deal on Climate Change -- "Now You're Talking"

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

The American expression “now you’re talking,” actually means “now you’re getting real.” Getting real on steps to confront climate change means moving from talking to action—big action.

And that’s the signal out of Beijing from yesterday’s summit between President Obama and President Xi Jinping. President Obama pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. President Xi announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions around 2030—with the intention to peak sooner—and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030. Next steps will be important, but this accord signals a significant move forward for climate action—in the United States, in China, and internationally.

Clayton Munnings

Clayton Munnings is a Research Associate at Resources for the Future, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington DC. Clayton’s research focuses on the use of market-based instruments to reduce carbon emissions in developed and developing countries, including China. Clayton holds a BS in Science of Natural and Environmental Systems with a concentration in Environmental and Resource Economics from Cornell University.

Contact Info: 

Resources for the Future
Munnings@rff.org
Twitter: @ClaytonMunnings
(202) 328-5177

China’s “New Long March” through the UN Climate Summit: Context and Opportunities

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

The Long March was a watershed moment in Chinese history—the moment Mao Zedong’s nascent Communist Party escaped disaster in 1934 en route to forming a new nation. Fast forward 80 years, and China is poised to embark on a new Long March – but this time away from climate change and environmental damage toward a sustainable future.

Climate negotiator previews China's approach to UN Climate Summit

China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, held a press conference Friday and made statements that may preview China’s approach to the UN Climate Summit on September 23rd.

Read more…