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WRI established its China office in 2007. We work with leaders in business, government, and civil society to address climate change, transport, and water risk issues. Learn more about our work in China. Visit our WRI China website.

The Role Of Cities In Meeting China’s Carbon Intensity Goal

Part 2: Challenges

This piece was written in collaboration with Cui Xueqin, Fu Sha, and Zou Ji.

In 2009, China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan set a goal to cut the country’s carbon intensity by 17 percent by 2015. Responsibility for achieving portions of this target has been allocated to provinces and cities. This three-part series explores the vital role of China’s municipalities in reaching the national carbon intensity goal. Part 1 presented low-carbon city targets and plans developed to date. Part 2 explores some challenges related to designing city-level low-carbon plans and mechanisms to track progress towards them. Part 3 will present some possible solutions to these challenges.

Despite the work by major Chinese cities to move city planning onto a low-carbon trajectory, several challenges remain. Notable among these are the unclear relationship between low-carbon city planning and other planning processes, a lack of methods to account for city-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a lack of approaches to address GHG emissions from electricity transmission.

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The Role of Cities in Meeting China’s Carbon Intensity Goal

Part 1: China's Low-Carbon City Plans

This piece was written in collaboration with Cui Xueqin, Fu Sha, and Zou Ji.

In 2009, China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan set a goal to cut the country’s carbon intensity by 17 percent by 2015. Responsibility for achieving portions of this target has been allocated to provinces and cities. This three-part series explores the vital role of China’s municipalities in reaching the national carbon intensity goal. Part 1 presents low-carbon city targets and plans developed to date. Part 2 will explore some challenges related to designing city-level low-carbon plans and mechanisms to track progress towards them. Part 3 will present some possible solutions to these challenges.

Worldwide, cities are responsible for 60 to 80 percent of total energy consumption, and account for approximately the same proportion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As elsewhere, the growth of investment, consumption, and trade in China’s cities has been a major driver not only of economic growth, technological advances, and human development, but also of energy use and GHG emissions. In contrast to most western cities, where most emissions come from buildings and transport, industry still plays a major role in Chinese cities’ GHG emissions. Ongoing massive investment in urban infrastructure, as well as changing urban lifestyles, will also play a determining role in the future trajectory of China’s GHG emissions.

Because of China’s size, its national strategies and policies are typically interpreted and implemented at provincial and municipal levels. Key decisions regarding investment and consumption also take place at the local level. Cities, therefore, are crucial leverage points for implementation of national climate and energy strategies and policies in China.

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CCS Demonstration in Developing Countries

Priorities for a Financing Mechanism for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage

This working paper explores some of the key issues emerging around the effective financing of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects in developing countries. It presents a series of options and recommendations to international policymakers and agencies working to support...

Greening Supply Chains in China

Practical Lessons from China-based Suppliers in Achieving Environmental Performance

This working paper highlights examples of five companies operating
in China and illustrates the approaches they have adopted to address
environmental problems. The paper focuses on water pollution within China’s challenging business landscape.

Scaling Up Low-Carbon Technology Deployment

Lessons from China

This report examines how low-carbon technologies have been introduced, adapted, deployed, and diffused in three greenhouse gas-intensive sectors in China: supercritical/ultrasupercritical (SC/USC) coal-fired power generation technology; onshore wind energy technology; and blast furnace top gas...

Wee Kean Fong

Senior Associate

Dr. Wee Kean Fong is a Senior Associate with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Climate and Energy Program.

CCS in China

Toward an Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulatory Framework

This brief frames how carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) might be regulated within the
Chinese environmental policy context, with an emphasis on
ensuring protection of people and the environment.

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