Civil Society Reactions: China Launches Climate Action Plan Towards Paris Agreement
China has lodged its climate action commitment towards the new climate agreement which is due to be signed in Paris this December.
The pledge included a commitment to slash the carbon intensity of its economy between 60-65% by 2030 based on 2005 levels with the aim of peaking pollution levels by around 2030. China has also committed to increasing its national share of low carbon energy to 20% by 2030.
CAN members made the following comments:
“China has only ever been on defence when it comes to climate change, but today’s announcement is the first step for a more active role. For success in Paris, however, all players – including China and the EU – need to up their game. Today’s pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious action. It does not fully reflect the significant energy transition that is already taking place in China. Given the dramatic fall in coal consumption, robust renewable energy uptake, and the urgent need to address air pollution, we believe the country can go well beyond what it has proposed today.” Li Shuo, climate analyst Greenpeace China
“This is the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target. In doing so, China has committed to both global climate security and to a transformational energy transition at home. We emphasize the importance of the fact that China has made commitments beyond its responsibility as a developing country. But we hope that China will continue to find ways to reduce its emissions, which will in turn drive global markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Samantha Smith, Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader, WWF.
“It is clear that the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) which was lodged by China today is a serious step forward for the country’s transformation to low carbon and climate resilient development. Already a world leader in renewable energy, the government has announced it will roll out as much low carbon energy as the entire US electricity system by 2030. While the plan is indeed a strong effort, it should be viewed as the floor upon which additional efforts will be built. There are early indications that the country could exceed the targets it has set for itself. Bold actions are required from all levels of governments as well as from the indispensable private sector and civil society. China’s commitment towards the Paris agreement is an important milestone on the way to Paris and can catalyse stronger action from the rest of the world.” Bi Xinxin, coordinator CAN China.