Energy Efficiency

China At Durban: First Steps Toward a New Climate Agreement

The UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, concluded over the weekend with a consensus to negotiate an agreement that will include all major emitters of warming gases. The conference agreed to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, extended the work of the group for Long-term Cooperative Action, and most significantly established new negotiations under the Durban Platform. Launching these negotiations was hailed as major progress around the world (Bloomberg, The Statesman, Xinhua). For the first time the world’s three major emitters (by total amount of greenhouse gases emitted), China, the United States and India, have agreed to begin negotiations for an international “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force,” indicating that there will be actions and efforts by all countries. (For the implications of this complex legal wording, see my colleague Jake Werksman’s discussion on WRI Insights).

Chinese experts discuss absolute emissions limits in Durban

The idea of a total cap on energy consumption in China, first suggested last March before the National People’s Congress has reemerged in Durban, and surprisingly there are now suggestions that China might consider some kind of a cap on carbon emissions. This has been suggested apparently as part of domestic policy rather than as a negotiating position, but details are very sketchy.

China Moving Forward on 12th Five Year Plan Climate and Energy Implementation; Targets, Taxes, Emissions Trading Plans in Development

The many climate and energy pieces of China’s 12th Five Year Plan appear to be moving into place. Most recently, Chinese Climate Change Minister Xie Zhenhua announced that China was about to come out with a full plan for the 17% carbon emissions reduction target in the Plan (2011-2015). In March, China announced an initial set of initiatives to control the growth in carbon emissions, and the 17% figure is part of the larger goal or reducing emissions by 40-45% by 2020.

ChinaFAQs: China’s Energy Conservation Accomplishments of the 11th Five Year Plan

Key Points

  • China’s mounting energy demand spurred by rapid economic growth prompted important energy-saving measures in its 11th Five Year Plan.
  • Researchers found that many projects conceived to improve energy intensity were on track to meet or surpass their goals, while others have lagged.
  • The study offers recommendations for strengthening future efforts.

Different Roads, Same Lower-Carbon Destination

A new study by Chinese researchers finds that China’s provinces could take very different paths to achieving China’s 2020 goal of reducing carbon intensity by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels. One energy-poor province included in the study, for instance, could rely on boosting nuclear power – while another coal-rich province could emphasize energy efficiency and strong economic growth.

Targets for the Provinces: Energy Intensity in the 12th Five-Year Plan

With Premier Wen Jiabao’s announcements on the 12th Five-Year Plan (12th FYP), China is tasked with improving the national energy intensity of its economy (energy per unit of GDP) by 16% over the next five years.1 Attention now turns to allocation of local-level targets. For the 12th FYP, the Chinese government has indicated that it seeks to use a more scientific methodology to better estimate the varying potential for energy saving across the provinces, to facilitate a structural shift to low-carbon development, as well as to achieve an equitable distribution of targets. What would such a methodology look like, and what targets would result from it?

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with collaboration from China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI), has developed a sector-based methodology for target allocation among the provinces. The methodology utilizes measurable indicators of each province’s energy and economic conditions to show transparency and effectiveness in meeting the national goal. Findings and analysis are available in a March 2011 report and highlighted here.2

China's Energy Policy Focuses on Controlling Demand

When I recently testified at the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, a phrase that came up in regard to China’s energy policy was that China is pursuing “an all-of-the-above strategy,” in other words generating supply from as many sources as possible. (full hearing details) There is nothing terribly remarkable about the idea that China is pursuing diversified supply. However, the implication of the discussion was that China’s approach is focused on the supply side, and that seems backwards.

China’s Energy and Climate Initiatives: Successes, Challenges, and Implications for U.S. Policies

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.

The Next Five Years of Clean Energy and Climate Protection in China

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.

How does China’s 12th Five-Year Plan address energy and the environment?

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.