China Aims To Hit CO2 Peak Before 2030

CO2 Peak Action Plan From China; Focus On Clean Energy; Coal Stays

China Aims To Hit CO2 Peak Before 2030

As the UN calls for the world to completely abandon fossil fuels for cleaner energy sources to avoid reaching 2.7º C higher temperatures, China’s action plan to achieve carbon peak by 2030 prefers low-carbon tech, but doesn’t abandon coal. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: Silarock/Shutterstock.com)

  • China’s action plan on peaking CO2 before 2030 calls for a holistic approach to ensuring low-carbon technologies flourish
  • It wants industries to take the lead in peaking CO2 emissions, calling out to steel, non-ferrous metals, building materials, petrochemicals and the like
  • During 14th FYP, it aims for non-fossil fuels to account for 20% of total energy consumption by 2025, increasing to 25% by 2030
  • There will be stricter controls over coal consumption, but the fossil fuel will continue to remain part of the Chinese power mix

To progress on China’s promise to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, the Chinese cabinet (State Council) has come out with an action plan to guide its way towards achieving carbon emissions peak before 2030. Announced a few days before the start of COP26, the plan calls out for a holistic approach to living and doing business in low-carbon manner.

As per the plan, during its 14th Five-year plan (FYP) (2021 to 2025) by 2025, China targets the share of non-fossil fuels in total energy consumption to go up to around 20% as the CO2 emissions per unit of GDP drop by 18% compared with 2020 levels.

Moving forward during 15th FYP (2026 to 2030), the government expects non-fossil fuels to account for a larger share of energy consumption to around 25% and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP to decline by more than 65% compared with 2005 levels. This would mean the country would ‘successfully’ achieve CO2 peaking before 2030.

China would install 30 GW or more of energy storage capacity while by 2030 installed pumped storage hydro power capacity should reach close to 120 GW. Around 40 GW of additional hydro power capacity is planned to be installed during 14th and 15th FYP.

The Chinese Government’s focus will be on ensuring certain industries – namely steel, non-ferrous metals, building materials, petrochemicals and the like – take the lead in peaking CO2 emissions by way of refining a green manufacturing system, building green fabs and industrial parks, among other steps.

Reiterating the target to achieve over 1,200 GW wind and solar power capacity by 2030, the plan says by 2025, renewable energy sources will account for 8% of the alternative to conventional energy use in buildings and that the government will strive to reach 50% PV coverage on roofs of newly constructed public buildings and factories.

Focus will be on accelerating construction of new energy systems while placing strict controls over growth of coal consumption. However, coal will continue to play an important role as the government tries to transition coal’s role into a ‘power source that is for ensuring basic needs and serves as a system regulating source’.

The complete Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 can be read in English language on the State Council’s website.

Coming as it does days before COP26 starts on October 31, 2021, the United Nations (UN) has announced the world is on track to see global temperature rise of 2.7º C with the current commitments of all its member nations, ‘far from the 1.5º C goal’.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the situation can only be reversed through reducing GHG emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 compared to 2010 levels, and net-zero emissions by 2050 which means fossil fuels need to be abandoned for cleaner energy sources by businesses, investors and average citizens, along with of course governments. He added the leaders must come to COP26 with bold targets and new concrete policies.

“If governments – especially G20 governments – do not stand up and lead this effort, we are headed for terrible human suffering,” warned Guterres.

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