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The latest International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2012 re-confirms the dangerous path the world is on–a path of increasing dependence on coal, which carries serious environmental risks for people and the planet. According to the report, the world will burn 1.2 billion metric tons more coal per year by 2017 compared to today, surpassing oil as the world’s top energy source.
Germany hosts Sustainable Energy High-Level Ministerial Event with China and others at Doha Climate TalksPosted by Angel Hsu on Dec 14, 2012
Although major greenhouse-gas emitting countries were criticized at the latest round of climate negotiations in Doha for failing to show enough ambition, an event held during the second week highlighted leadership from Germany, China, Morocco, and South Africa on clean and renewable energy. Hosted by Peter Altmaier, Federal Environment Minister of Germany, and moderated by the President of the World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer, the panel also included Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chair of China’s NDRC, Nandi Mayathula Khoza, Minister of Agriculture of South Africa’s Gauteng province, and Fouad Douiri, Morocco’s Energy and Environment Minister.
China’s Information Office of the State Council recently issued a white paper titled “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2012)”, made available in the run-up to the UNFCCC international negotiations on climate change currently underway in Doha, Qatar.
The next round of United Nations climate negotiations is gearing up to take place starting next week in Doha Qatar, where countries will look to both China and the United States to see whether domestic political events will provide any momentum for the stalling talks. However, because of the proximity of the U.S. Presidential Election and the start of China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition that will culminate in March, it is not expected that the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will be bringing too much by way of game-changing developments to Doha. Instead, we can expect most of the discussions in Doha to focus on securing final details for a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, primarily for the E.U. and now Australia, as well as starting to formulate language for a new deal that will be decided by 2015.
Here are a few items to watch coming from China in Doha:
The Chinese Government recently announced the long-awaited provincial energy consumption data for 2011. The data shows that China’s energy intensity in 2011 was 0.793 tons coal equivalent (tce) per unit gross domestic product (GDP), 2.01% less than 2010. The data also reveals new opportunities and challenges for achieving China’s energy intensity target under the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (12FYP) (2011-2015).
Last Friday, experts from the ChinaFAQs Network and top media representatives participated on a press call on climate and energy policy under China’s incoming president, Xi Jinping, and other new leaders. The participants focused on the drivers underlying China’s energy and climate policies and actions. Key issues included whether the country can sustain its renewable energy growth, confront rising coal demand, and follow through on its climate change targets in the 12th five-year plan. All of these issues are emerging as the country faces its first major economic slowdown in more than a decade. This blog post highlights experts’ discussion during the press call.
When it comes to coal consumption, no other nation comes close to China. The country reigns as the world’s largest coal user, burning almost half of the global total each year. About 70 percent of China’s total energy consumption and nearly 80 percent of its electricity production come from coal, and its recent shift from being a historical net coal exporter to the world’s largest net coal importer took only three years.
China’s great thirst for coal is undeniably troubling from a sustainable development standpoint. However, the situation may be changing…