Taking Stronger Action on Climate Change: China and the United States

An analysis of China’s key climate targets and the steps China is taking to meet them.

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Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2014

A graphical overview of China’s renewable energy investment and installed capacity in 2014.

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Why China is Acting on Clean Energy

Why is China pursuing a low-carbon energy strategy, what are the benefits and challenges, and what can other nations learn from the Chinese experience?

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U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership (USCREP)

A description of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership and its work on policy and planning, grid integration, standards and certification, and renewable technology and policy.

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Latest from ChinaFAQs

China’s Decline in Coal Consumption Drives Global Slowdown in Emissions

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.

In his address to the World Economic Forum today, Chinese President Xi showed China’s willingness to step into a growing global leadership role, including on climate change. Xi called for all countries to hold fast to the hard-won Paris Agreement, saying “walking away” from the pact would threaten future generations, and that green development is already showing promising results. This was a continuation of the stance China took during the climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco last year, where the country indicated its intent to advance ambitious climate action.

China is Leaving the U.S. Behind on Clean Energy Investment

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.

As 2017 begins, China is poised to leap ahead of the United States on clean energy to become the most important player in the global market. Last year, China increased its foreign investment in renewables by 60 percent to reach a record $32 billion, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. This includes 11 new overseas investment deals worth more than $1 billion each.

Continuing cooperation with China on clean energy and climate change in US interest

The United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been cooperating on climate change and clean energy for several decades. Since 2009, this cooperation has been greatly enhanced and expanded, resulting in thousands of people from both countries working together to do collaborative research, to share experiences and information, and to develop commercial ventures to deploy clean energy technology.

Clean Air, Cool Climate: Solving these problems together

Given the health risks posed by air pollution, it is easy to understand why the Chinese government wants to address this problem. However, the dilemma is that some steps to clean up air pollution can actually contribute to global warming.

China’s Air Pollution Standards Will Drive Technology Innovation

While Chinese air pollution has become world famous, over the last couple of years there has been a slowly growing awareness that the Chinese government is working hard to reduce it, and in fact in the last five years pollution levels have been falling. What has not yet come to world attention, and in fact, few Chinese have really focused on, is that China has the potential to become the world leader in standard setting, at least in the two most polluting sectors, power and oil and gas. What this means is that China is now or soon will be demanding new technologies and new solutions to reduce air pollution, and thus its regulatory demands will become a driver of innovation.

Building Energy Efficiency in China: Policies and Markets

Key Points:

  • As of 2011, buildings accounted for 28% of China’s energy consumption. Upward pressures on building energy use include population and economic growth, urbanization, and rising living standards.
  • China has adopted a series of domestic policies, including building energy codes, policies and incentives based on green building ratings, and building retrofit programs, to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • China’s building codes could reduce building energy use by 13-22% and CO2 emissions by 14-20% from business-as-usual by the end of this century, depending on their stringency and coverage.
  • China’s nationally determined contribution for the Paris Agreement and 13th Five Year Plan indicate stronger action on building energy efficiency.
  • Building efficiency policies have created a market in China for energy-efficient materials and products, which U.S. companies are poised to help supply.
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Ahead of G20 in Hangzhou, U.S. and China Join Paris Agreement

On September 3rd, 2016, the United States and China formally joined the Paris Agreement on climate change. The announcement came at a bilateral meeting between President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping on Saturday, ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. The announcement provides a major boost in the momentum behind the effort needed for the Paris Agreement to enter into force, which is likely to happen before the end of 2016. In order for the agreement to enter into force, a total of 55 countries representing 55% of global GHG emissions must join. China and the United States are the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, accounting for a combined 38% of global emissions.