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Former Vice President Al Gore launched his Climate Project’s lecture program in Beijing June 10, personally devoting an entire day to training 300 Chinese in how to give his famous lecture. The event was striking for the diversity and the quality of the participants. His partners in China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the China Agenda 21 Sustainable Development Office invited participants from all over China, including scholars, government officials, corporate middle managers, independent entrepreneurs, NGO staff and students.
China Energy Group members Mark Levine and Lynn Price have been invited to serve as Lead Authors for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report. Dr. Levine will serve on the Buildings chapter and Ms. Price will serve on the Industry chapter of the Working Group III report on Mitigation of Climate Change.
Why is Industrial Energy So Important in China?
China’s energy use more than quadrupled from 1980 to 2007 (see Fig. 1), and continues to grow, due in part to the demands of urbanization (i.e. construction of new buildings and infrastructure), and in part to rising production of manufactured goods.i Although China has not yet reached the energy consumption level of the U.S, China nonetheless – due to a more polluting fuel mix – recently surpassed the U.S. in energy-related CO2 emissions.ii
China’s State Council promulgated its first-ever regional air quality regulations on May 11. This is the first time outside of the special provisions for the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo that China has set up a structure for ensuring air quality across multiple provincial and urban jurisdictions involving entire airsheds. These new regulations begin the process of institutionalizing the lessons learned during the major efforts to improve air quality for those headlining events and bringing those lessons learned both to the long-term health of those two regions and to other regions facing air quality challenges in China. The full regulations are on line in Chinese at the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s website and our colleagues at the Energy Foundation’s Beijing office have helpfully translated them into English and allowed us to post the English translation.
See original Chinese text at: http://zfs.mep.gov.cn/fg/gwyw/201005/t20100514_189497.htm
(Unofficial, Informal Translation)
Notice of the General Office of the State Council about Forwarding Guiding Opinions on Pushing Forward the Joint Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution to Improve the Regional Air Quality Developed by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Relevant Departments
No. 33  of the General Office of the State Council
The people’s governments of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, all ministries and commissions of the State Council, and all institutions directly under the State Council:
The Guiding Opinions on Pushing Forward the Joint Prevention and Control of Air Pollution to Improve the Regional Air Quality raised by the Ministry of Environment Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce and the Bureau of Energy has been approved by the State Council and hereby forwarded to you for your earnest compliance and implementation.
General Office of the State Council
May 11, 2010
US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue: Pledges of Greater Energy Market Transparency and Energy Supply DiversificationPosted by Deborah Seligsohn on May 26, 2010
Climate change was not the big news it was a year ago at the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). This is not surprising given that China made its major commitment on emissions reductions – its 40-45% carbon intensity target by 2020 – last year and US climate legislation is pending in the Senate. But many of the key players on climate change, including Secretary of State Clinton, her Climate Negotiator Todd Stern, and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Sandalow, were at the meeting. Energy Secretary Steven Chu stayed in the US to address the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but his Department co-hosted three major bilateral seminars on energy efficiency, renewable energy and biofuels after the S&ED.
- 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.