Transportation is a major source of carbon emissions in China and the United States—20 and 30 percent, respectively. It's why experts and officials came together to brainstorm low-carbon solutions at the recent US-China Transportation Forum. Four ideas emerged.
BEIJING (June 8, 2016)— At the second China-US Climate Smart/Low Carbon Cities Summit, representatives from more than 50 cities came together to enhance cooperation on low-carbon development. Twelve Chinese cities pledged to peak their carbon emissions earlier than China’s national target of 2030, joining the 11 founding cities and provinces of the Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities (APPC). The APPC was launched in 2015 at the China-US Climate-Smart/Low Carbon Cities Summit.
China's cities have a critical role to play in addressing climate change, but some huge metropolitan areas like Chengdu hadn't focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That changed today as Chengdu and other Chinese cities and provinces committed to have their emissions peak by or before 2030 and decline after that.
One of China's major challenges in its shift to low-carbon electricity is curtailment, which means that power grids don't use renewable power even when wind and solar plants are capable of producing it. Better-designed and -implemented policies can help.
Four Chinese cities are pursuing systems that turn "sludge," the organic matter left over from treated sewage, into energy. The systems can reduce emissions, energy consumption and water pollution all while saving money.
China has unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which will guide the country's economic and social development from 2016 through 2020. Its new climate and energy targets show that the country will continue its shift to a more sustainable growth model and deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments.
As President Xi Jinping has said, after unprecedented economic expansion since 1990, China now needs to embrace a new economic model that focuses more on the quality rather than the quantity of growth. Will the new 13th Five-Year Plan be able to deliver this?
Key actions China has taken on climate over the last 5 years
In a few days, China will release its 13th Five-Year Plan, a new economic, social and environmental blueprint for the country's development through 2020. Recent signs show that the country is already beginning to shift toward a low-carbon pathway, and the new plan provides the opportunity to build on that progress.
This Friday, March 4 at 10:00am EST / 4:00pm CET, World Resources Institute’s ChinaFAQs program will host a press teleconference featuring experts from WRI, NRDC and the Paulson Institute.