China exceeds emission target

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/1 23:58:39

Carbon intensity reduced by 20% during 2010-15: official


China successfully reduced its carbon intensity by 20 percent during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2010-15), surpassing its original 17 percent target, said a senior environmental official on Tuesday.

Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative for climate change, said at a Beijing press conference Tuesday the use of non-fossil fuels hit 12 percent, a little above the 11.4 percent target set by the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Moreover, China's forest reserves have grown to 15.1 billion cubic meters, reaching its 2020 goal four years in advance, said the former environment minister. 

Li Lailai, China country director for the World Resources Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China has felt a growing pressure to reduce pollution in recent years and the slumping economy has also pushed the country to transform its old economic structure into a more environmental- friendly one.

Xie said that by September, 120 million tons of carbon credits, worth 3.2 billion yuan ($472 million), were traded on seven carbon credit trading markets currently being piloted in China.

Launched in 2011, China's pilot carbon trading program includes markets in Beijing and South China's Guangdong Province.

Under these programs, companies that produce more than their share of carbon emissions are permitted to purchase unused quotas from those that produce less.

"The carbon trading program aims to balance the difference of carbon emissions between different industries and cities," Zhang Boju, chief executive director of Friends of Nature, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

However, Zhang warned that the trading program can not be regulated by the market only. "The market is lagging behind and certain rules are needed to regulate the market," said Zhang.

China has also aided other developing countries in dealing with climate change, said Xie at Tuesday's news conference.

China invested 580 million yuan in materials and equipment to help developing countries, as well as conducted international negotiations, personnel training and policy planning.

A total of 10 low-carbon demonstration areas and 100 projects were established in China to cope with climate change, while a total of 1,000 experts and government officials are to be trained in related fields, said Xie.

China and the US announced the ratification of the Paris Agreement in September, ahead of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, reports said. The agreement sets a target to keep the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees C, and preferably below 1.5 degrees C.

Li said that the Paris agreement has set a goal for countries involved but it is more important to implement it, which would be the focus of the Climate Change Conference that to be held in Marrakech, Morocco from November 7-18.

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