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China has submitted its proposed climate mitigation actions to the UNFCCC in a letter dated January 28, ahead of the January 31, 2010 deadline in the Copenhagen Accord. Given Premier Wen Jiabao’s hands-on role, along with President Obama and the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa, in creating the Accord last month, it is encouraging to see China demonstrate its commitment to moving global climate negotiations forward.
In its letter, China reaffirmed its earlier announcement of policies to: (1) reduce its carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020 from 2005 levels, (2) increase the share of non-fossil energy in its primary energy consumption to around 15% by 2020, and (3) increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020 from 2005 levels. China noted that these actions will be implemented in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC.
From Keith Bradsher, New York Times:
“TIANJIN, China — China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year.
China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants.
These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.”
As provided for in last month’s Copenhagen Accord, China has now submitted its “mitigation actions” (click HERE to see the text of the letter in our ChinaFAQs Library). While there was much speculation as to which actions China would submit, in the end China has reported the full set of measures first announced by President Hu Jintao at the United Nations in November 2009, and then amplified by the State Council decision on the 40-45% carbon intensity target at the end of November.
A letter from Su Wei, Director-General of Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission of China to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Secretariat. The letter communicates China’s autonomous domestic mitigation actions in accordance with the Copenhagen Accord, negotiated under the UNFCCC.
The Chinese government announced today that Premier Wen Jiabao will lead a new Energy Coordinating body. Wen will chair the committee, which will include Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang and ministers of 21 different departments.
A December 2009 report on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Coal in the United States and China, published by the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thorton China Center, authored by ChinaFAQs expert Kelly Sims Gallagher, Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.
One of the most striking commonalities between China and the United States is that both countries are blessed with large coal reserves,and naturally, both rely heavily on coal for their primary energy supply. U.S. coal reserves are estimated at 243 billion tons (29% of world total), and Chinese at 115 billion tons (14% of world total). China’s reserves-to-production ratio, however,is much shorter than that of the United States with only 41 years of currently-estimated economically recoverable coal compared with 224 years in the United States at current production rates (BP Statistical Review 2009). As the most abundant fossil energy resource in both countries, it is virtually certain that both will continue to rely heavily on coal due to its relatively low cost and the energy security benefits related to not having to import substantial foreign supplies of primary energy. The utilization of coal will be increasingly limited by the climate change problem, however, unless advanced coal and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can be developed, demonstrated, and rendered cost-effective within the next 5-15 years.
The second meeting of Ministers of the four BASIC Group countries took place in New Delhi on January 24th 2010. Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh met with the four Ministers on the evening of January 23rd. The Ministers who participated in the meeting were H.E. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission from China, H.E. Carlos Minc, Minister for Environment from Brazil, H.E. Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs from South Africa and H.E. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment and Forests from India. The current G-77 Chair – Yemen – had also been invited but could not attend because of other commitments.