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5 Questions: What Does China’s New Five-Year Plan Mean for Climate Action?

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China has officially unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which will guide the country’s economic and social development from 2016 through 2020. This latest edition builds on progress made over the last five years, and makes clear that environmental stewardship is an increasingly integral component of China’s development.

The plan lays out targets and measures to address several sustainability challenges—including climate change, air pollution, water, urbanization, transportation and more. The new plan’s high-level targets and policies will continue to strengthen China’s efforts to shift to a more sustainable model of growth and deliver on its climate commitments. Here’s a look at the highlights and importance of the plan for China’s action on energy and climate change.

U.S. and China To Sign, Join Paris Agreement This Year, Deepen Cooperation on Climate and Clean Energy

The United States and China have issued a joint presidential statement confirming that they will each sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and take steps to join the agreement as early as possible this year, and calling on other countries to do the same. This statement builds on the action generated by the presidential joint statements over the last two years, which has been an important catalyst of international action on climate change. The new showing of mutual confidence and continued commitment will contribute to worldwide momentum to tackle climate change and implement the Paris Agreement.

How China's 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment

This post originally appeared on ChinaFile.

For the first time ever, a senior Chinese leader announced in his work report to the National People’s Congress—his most important formal speech of the year—that environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be “severely punished.” Premier Li Keqiang reported that China had succeeded in meeting or exceeding the previous Five-Year Plan’s environmental goals. The draft 13th Five-Year Plan, released March 5 and scheduled to be passed (likely without amendment) in the coming days, builds on that success, requiring greater reductions in the emissions of many pollutants.

Press Call Analyzing China's 13th Five Year Plan

China recently released its 13th Five Year Plan, which will guide China’s economic, social, and environmental policy through 2020. The plan makes clear that China is integrating climate action into its strategy for economic development. It sets China on course to meet or exceed its international climate commitments, and lays out a strategy for a rebalancing of the economy toward cleaner drivers of growth.

To analyze the key elements of the Five Year Plan in the context of the progress China has achieved and the country’s remaining challenges, ChinaFAQs organized a press conference call on March 18th.

For the audio of the press call, click here.

China’s Low-Carbon Strategy: Could a Carbon Tax Play a Role?

As reflected in the emphasis on “green development” of the recently-released 13th Five Year Plan, China’s leaders recognize the need to shift to a more sustainable, climate-friendly model of development. They have signaled that they believe market pricing is a key element of the new model, and that carbon pricing is an important policy instrument for achieving this shift. While China’s carbon trading pilots and planned national trading system have received much attention, a carbon tax is also being seriously discussed. Government think tanks have proposed various options for the sectors to be covered, tax administration, and use of the revenue to complement existing policies.

Ranping Song

Ranping Song is the Developing Country Climate Action Manager at the World Resources Institute. Working with the International Climate Action Initiative of WRI’s Global Climate Program, Ranping serves as the global focal point across WRI for work on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and developing country actions. He engages with and coordinates teams across WRI on the full range of issues addressed in INDCs, including mitigation, adaptation and finance. He also coordinates with in-country climate team leads in WRI’s country offices and supports them on the development and implementation of climate strategies in developing countries. From 2012 to 2015, Ranping served as the Team Lead for China Climate Program, where he led the development and implementation of climate strategy in China. Before then, he served as an Associate and Program Manager for the GHG Protocol in China.

Prior to joining WRI, Ranping was the China Campaign Manager for The Climate Group in Beijing. There he worked to engage companies and government agencies to promote climate friendly products in order to reduce carbon footprints. Before then, he worked for the United Nations Development Group in New York.

Ranping has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Lanzhou University.

Contact Info: 

World Resources Institute
rsong@wri.org
+1 (202) 729-7896

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

Key Questions:

  • Q: How have the joint U.S.-China announcements helped create momentum for global climate action?
  • Q: Is it true that under its new commitments, 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 commitments, or has it already taken steps in this direction?
    A: China is already taking action to strengthen all of the building blocks of its strategy to shift to low-carbon energy.
  • Q: Do we have reason to believe that China will follow through on its commitments?
    A: Yes. China has already made progress on its energy and emissions targets and has strong reasons of national interest to build on its current efforts.
  • Q: What is the benefit of the U.S. and China, and many other countries, taking action together?
    A: With countries acting together, each can have confidence its actions are part of a global effort to address climate change.
Read more…

US-China Climate Change Announcement Signals New Phase for Global Action

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

Nearly a year ago, the United States and China laid out their national climate action plans for the coming years. These were the first in what is now a substantial list of national climate action plans—plans that will form the basis of a new international climate agreement to be finalized in Paris later this year. Now, the world’s two biggest emitters have taken the next step by cementing their plans, jointly announcing key actions they’ll take to achieve their national goals, and clarifying their views on the upcoming Paris agreement.

Chinese and U.S. Cities, States and Provinces Announce Climate Targets and Extensive Cooperation

At this week’s U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles, eleven cities and provinces from across China committed to reach a peak in their carbon dioxide emissions before the national goal to peak around 2030. The cities and provinces—along with eighteen U.S. counterparts, which announced emissions reduction targets—also pledged to track and report their emissions, establish climate action plans, and enhance U.S.-China cooperation at the subnational level.

China Is Raising Its Climate Ambition, Experts Say

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China is increasing its ambition in addressing climate change, and it has a strong national interest in sustaining its actions. That’s according to a recent panel of experts convened by WRI’s ChinaFAQs project and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.