Energy and Emissions Data

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…

Valerie Karplus

Valerie J. Karplus is an Assistant Professor in the Global Economics and Management Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the China Energy and Climate Project (CECP) at MIT.

Her research focuses on resource and environmental management in firms operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with an emphasis on emerging markets and the role of policy. Dr. Karplus is an expert on China’s energy system, including technology trends, energy system governance, and the sustainability impact of business decisions. She leads the China Energy and Climate Project at MIT, an international collaborative team of researchers principally from MIT and Tsinghua University focused on China’s role in global energy markets and climate change mitigation.

Dr. Karplus has previously worked in the development policy section of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, and in the biotechnology industry in Beijing, China, as a Luce Scholar and employee of the National Institute for Biological Sciences, Beijing.

She holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a PhD in engineering systems from MIT.

Contact Info: 

MIT Sloan School of Management

77 Massachusetts Ave.

Building E62-482

Cambridge, MA 02139

vkarplus@mit.edu

Phone: +1 (617) 800-7982

Fax: +1 (617) 253-9845

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, 2017, and 2020

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2013

Key Points:

  • Currently, China gets about 9% 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% in 2015 and 15% in 2020.
  • 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 89 GW. China is also the world’s fastest-growing installer of wind, and it aims to have 100 GW of wind installed by 2015.
  • 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 19 GW installed.
  • Investment: China was the number one investor in renewable energy in 2013, accounting for nearly a fifth of global investment.