China Will ‘Far Surpass’ 2020 Carbon Reduction Target
China will likely “far surpass” its greenhouse gas reduction targets and cut the carbon intensity of its economy in half by 2020, lead climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua told a conference in Hong Kong last week.
“China’s market for coal consumption has started to become saturated and should gradually decline,” he said. The country’s official goal is to cut emissions per unit of GDP 40-45% from 2005 levels by the end of this decade.
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“Official data suggests coal use by the world’s top carbon polluter fell 2.8% in 2015 while mining output dropped 3.5%,” ClimateHome reports, though experts have expressed concern about the reliability of China’s emissions reporting. “It is a question of ability,” Xie acknowledged. “At every level of statistics, there are exaggerations added to the data. Everyone knows that, and everyone is anxious” to solve the problem.
At last week’s IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, State Grid Corporation of China Chair Zhenya Liu reportedly jolted oil and gas executives by refusing to join the general chorus for an “all of the above” energy strategy, instead endorsing a rapid transition to renewables. Part of his talk focused on the potential for ultra-high-voltage transmission lines to link Middle East solar farms and Arctic wind farms to a global grid.
“UHV grid technology has been proved to be both advanced and mature,” he told conference participants. “By 2050, we need to accelerate the development of energy bases at the North Pole and the equatorial regions.”