Policy and Governance

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

New Weapons in the War on Pollution: China's Environmental Protection Law Amendments

This post originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog:

On Thursday, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, approved major amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law (EPL), the first since the law was enacted 25 years ago.

These amendments are a game changer.

China Approves Amendments to Environmental Protection Law

On Friday the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress voted to approve amendments to China’s Environmental Protection Law. These amendments mark the first time China’s Environmental Protection Law has been updated in 25 years.

The amendments include tougher penalties for polluters, including no limits on fines imposed on polluters and the potential of up to 15 days in prison for managers of enterprises that do not comply with the new amendments.

How U.S.-China Cooperation Can Expand Clean Energy Development

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

One year ago, the United States and China declared in their Joint Statement on Climate Change that “forceful, nationally appropriate action by the United States and China—including large-scale cooperative action—is more critical than ever. Such action is crucial both to contain climate change and to set the kind of powerful example that can inspire the world.”

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.

3 Ways the US and China Can Work Together for Responsible Shale Gas Development

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

As China charts its energy future, the country is setting its sights on natural gas. The Chinese government aims to double the share of natural gas in its energy mix by 2015—including unconventional sources like gas from shale and coal-bed methane. Shale gas development in China is still in the nascent, exploratory phases, but estimates place China’s shale gas reserves among the largest in the world.

Jane Nakano

Jane Nakano is a fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her research focus includes nuclear energy policy and technology trends globally, energy security issues in Asia, and unconventional energy development in the United States. Prior to joining CSIS in 2010, Nakano was with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and served as the lead staff on U.S. energy engagements with China and Japan. She was responsible for coordinating DOE engagement in the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue, and U.S.-Japan Energy Dialogue. She also worked on U.S. energy engagement with Indonesia, North Korea, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. From 2001 to 2002, she served at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo as special assistant to the energy attaché. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Contact Info: 

JNakano@csis.org
(202) 775-3210

Panel: China’s Clean Energy Challenges

In a panel at the Brookings Institution moderated by ChinaFAQs expert Kenneth Lieberthal, ChinaFAQs experts Sarah Forbes, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Jane Nakano discussed the challenges and prospects for China’s clean energy future. Sarah Forbes discussed China’s natural gas sector, focusing especially on shale gas. Kelly Sims Gallagher discussed China’s coal sector and the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies. Jane Nakano discussed China’s nuclear energy future.

For the full transcript and a recording of the panel see: “China’s Clean Energy Challenges

Carla Freeman

Dr. Carla Freeman is Associate Research Professor of China Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and the Director of the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute (FPI). She holds a BA in History from Yale and an MA in China studies and international economics and PhD in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Before joining the SAIS faculty, she was a political risk consultant covering China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, and later worked as a program officer for civil society and community development and sustainability at The Johnson Foundation. Her recent research has examined China’s environmental governance and sustainable development, with her current work focused on the politics of China’s carbon mitigation strategies.

Contact Info: 

cfreeman5@jhu.edu
(202) 663-5890

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.