Fact Sheets

ChinaFAQs: Building Energy Codes

Key Points:

  • China has substantially stepped up its enforcement of energy-saving building codes since 2007.
  • Current energy codes call for improving the efficiency of new structures by 50% over pre-code buildings.
  • Although rigorous, multi-step evaluations are ensuring high compliance with energy codes in major urban areas, buildings in rural areas often fail to meet the standards.
  • More stringent standards and continued enforcement of energy efficiency codes can help China curb future energy demand in residential and commercial buildings.

ChinaFAQs: China’s Energy Security Dilemma

Key Points:
  • Historically, China’s leaders have responded to the rising demand for energy with efforts to increase supply.
  • In recent years, however, these leaders have recognized that China cannot just grow its supply of energy, but must also find ways to curb demand.
  • While China is taking significant steps to curb demand, the nations’ leadership remains wary of embracing policies to reduce demand that could be politically unpopular and slow economic growth. As a result, China faces longer-term risks of energy shortages and economic and environmental problems.

ChinaFAQs: Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards

Key Points:

  • China has become one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for household appliances, such as televisions, clothes washers and refrigerators.
  • To improve the energy efficiency of these products, China has developed an array of mandatory and voluntary standards and labeling programs.
  • These programs promise to significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, but stepped up compliance testing and enforcement could enable China to reap even bigger gains.
  • International collaboration – including with experts from the United States – has played an important part in China’s appliance efficiency efforts.

ChinaFAQs: China’s Carbon Intensity Goal: A Guide for the Perplexed

In late November 2009, China announced its intention to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions within the Chinese economy by 40-45% by 2020, as compared with a 2005 baseline. China then reported this goal to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat on January 28, 2010.

This announcement, coming on the heels of the United States’ announced pledge of a 17% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions between 2005 and 2020, garnered a great deal of attention within both the US and internationally, with experts weighing in with both approval and doubts about China’s ambition.i

To enhance understanding of China’s commitment, we provide answers to the major questions related to the Chinese carbon intensity target below.

ChinaFAQs: An Emerging Revolution: Clean Technology Research, Development and Innovation in China

China’s policies to prioritize, fund and deploy clean technology R&D and innovation over the short and medium term stem from an ambition to emerge as a global power in science and technology through clean technology R&D and innovation.

ChinaFAQs: Getting Smarter About Electricity

Key Points

  • China has embarked on a major effort to develop more reliable and “smarter” electric power grids by 2020.
  • A smarter grid will help China curb greenhouse gas emissions by reducing electricity losses during transmission, connecting more renewable power sources (such as wind), and improving end-user efficiency.
  • An emerging technology globally, smart grid technologies are an important area for U.S.-China cooperation.

ChinaFAQs: Forestry in China

Key Points

  • Since 1981, China has planted more than 40 billion trees, doubling forest cover. China’s forests now cover 175 million hectares – an area the size of Alaska.
  • Currently China is pumping more than $80 billion into its forestry programs.
  • New targets aim for 26% forest cover by 2050, and 40 million new hectares (over 2005 levels) by 2020.

ChinaFAQs: Nuclear Energy in China

Key Points

  • China currently uses nuclear power plants to produce about 2% of its electricity, and 1% of its total energy.
  • By 2020, China wants to generate at least 5% of electricity with nuclear power.
  • China has 11 operating nuclear plants at three sites; the government plans to build 20 more plants by 2020.
  • By 2030, China’s nuclear power program is expected to become the world’s second largest, behind the United States.
  • Cooperation between the United States and China could be critical to efforts to develop a new generation of safe, reliable nuclear power plants that could help curb emissions of greenhouse gases.

NRDC: From Gray to Green

This joint report by The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that buildings account for about 25 percent of China’s total energy use-as much as China’s cement, iron, and steel sectors combined.

However, the study revealed that China can cut energy use by up to 70 percent using existing green building techniques, such as installing better insulation and efficient windows, using natural lighting, and retrofitting heating and cooling system.

For the complete fact sheet, please download the pdf from http://www.greenlaw.org.cn/files/reports/FromGraytoGreen_Ch.pdf

NRDC: Identifying Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in China

To avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the world must limit average temperature increases to 2°C or less by reducing carbon emissions at least 50 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Since the publication of the IPCC’s last synthesis report, several recent studies have further found that the committed warming as of today will exceed 2°C, even if emissions were to stop completely. Achieving the urgently needed emission reductions will require efforts beyond first-resort measures such as energy efficiency, conservation, and enhancement of natural carbon sinks. Given the world’s current heavy reliance on fossil fuels, nations must pursue a wide range of carbon mitigation strategies that includes Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). China is well-positioned to be a global leader in the development and deployment of CCS technologies that—with broad support and engagement from the international community—can be an important tool for reducing carbon emissions as the world transitions to truly clean energy technologies.

For the complete fact sheet, please download the pdf from http://www.nrdc.org/international/chinaccs/