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In the hectic hallway traffic of the Moon Palace Resort, where the UN climate negotiations have been underway since last week, Washington University in St. Louis undergraduates Jiakun Zhao and John Delurey met with lead Chinese negotiator Su Wei. And by a stroke of luck, Jonathan Pershing, a senior U.S. negotiator, happened to walk by in a fortuitous moment reflective of the U.S. and China’s softer and more conciliatory tone in the talks.
Taking Action to Meet its Climate Pledge - China Enacts National Energy Efficiency DSM Regulations to Dramatically Scale Up Investments in Energy EfficiencyPosted by Barbara Finamore on Dec 6, 2010
This post was co-authored with NRDC China Energy Efficiency/DSM Project Director Mona Yew and NRDC legal fellow Bruce Ho.
As we begin a new round of international climate negotiations in Cancun, China has taken another potentially giant step towards meeting its climate pledge. On November 4, 2010, China’s central government enacted national energy efficiency regulations that will establish national utility demand-side management, or DSM programs.
As the first week of negotiations in Cancun concludes, China has been stressing its progress at home. That China takes the climate change issue seriously was the principal message at a recent Cancun event from Su Wei, the Director-General of China’s Climate Change Department under its powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and lead climate negotiator.
- At a measuring station near Beijing, US and Chinese scientists are collecting unique measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in air that has passed over one of China’s most industrialized, urbanized regions. This record provides an independent view of China’s efforts to improve energy efficiency.
- Comparing CO2 levels with carbon monoxide (CO) levels serves as an independent indicator of overall trends in efficiency of fuel combustion in this critical region.
- The record shows a pattern of improved combustion efficiency from 2005 to 2008, consistent with energy efficiency policies pursued under the 11th Five Year Plan, in particular the goal to reduce energy intensity by 20%.
As negotiators arrive in Cancun for the next round of global climate talks, speculation once again hovers around China’s positions. China is a tough negotiator, and we can once again see it expressing concern about its core issues, including developed country mitigation commitments, technology transfer and the adequacy of financing. But as we look to negotiating positions, it is also worth stepping back for a minute to reflect on what China is doing domestically and how China’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and low carbon technologies can contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.
“Late last year, Ren and around 40 other young Chinese people arrived in Copenhagen, hoping to break the silence of their peers on the international issue of climate change. They constituted the largest Chinese youth group ever to take part in a United Nations climate-change summit.”
-China Dialogue, April 14, 2010
- Collaboration between the United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, will be key to scaling up the technologies needed to curb climate change and reduce costs.
- The two nations have collaborated for over 20 years on energy and climate issues, and recently agreed to a new, wide-ranging set of cooperative efforts.
- Collaboration can deliver tangible benefits to both nations and the world at-large, including new markets for U.S. technologies, better monitoring of China’s emissions, and lower global costs of controlling emissions.