Measurement and Compliance

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 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.

Emissions Trading in China: First Reports from the Field

When Tianjin launched its carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) on Dec 26th 2013, it became the fifth ETS operating in China, following Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. Now that five of seven pilots have started trading and the rest are expected to start in 2014, the aggregate of all emissions regulated in China through the seven pilots will be the second largest in the world, following only the European Union.

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.

Emissions Trading in China: First Steps and the Road Ahead

This week China launched its first pilot emission trading program. This development is potentially a major marker in China’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Shenzhen Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) program will cover some 635 industrial companies from 26 industries. This is the first of seven proposed pilot GHG cap-and-trade schemes in China, which China has been developing since 2011.

China’s New Energy Consumption Control Target

China’s State Council in late January approved an “energy consumption control target” to keep the country’s total energy consumption below the equivalent of 4 billion tonnes of coal per year by 2015.

"Beyond Index" - Can 'Airpocalypse' be China's 'Silent Spring'?

News over the past five days in many parts of northern China have centered around the unprecedented air pollution shrouding several northern cities, including the capital. The “Airpocalypse,” so dubbed by micro-bloggers, has elicited a strong, unambiguous response frot the public and the media – causing many to call a spade a spade by casting away euphemisms like fog in favor of more candid descriptors like smog and pollution. It has also inspired this poignant music video lamenting the lost of Beijing to the evil forces of pollution.

Second National Communication on Climate Change of the People's Republic of China

Library File: 

China submitted its “Second National Communication on Climate Change of the People’s Republic of China” to the UNFCCC in November 2012. The Communication contains a national greenhouse gas inventory of China’s emissions in 2005, and descriptions of the impacts of climate change in China and China’s policies and actions on climate change mitigation.

Towards a China Environmental Performance Index

ChinaFAQs expert Angel Hsu and her colleagues from the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy team up with Columbia University, Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning and City University of Hong Kong for this report to help guide effective pollution control and natural resource management.