For the first time ever, China will cap its total primary energy consumption, and set targets to improve its air quality, outlined in its 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development.
China also plans to cut energy and CO2 intensity by 15 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in the next five years, putting the country in a position to likely surpass its 2020 carbon intensity reduction target.
This announcement comes at a time when coal use continues to decline throughout the country and renewable capacity is soaring.
A recent study shows that the country is likely to meet its climate pledges quicker than expected, to protect the vulnerable from adverse climate impacts. As emissions stall and renewables surge, China is on a path that cleans up its air, cuts coal reliance and ends extreme poverty.
- China’s new blueprint centers around green solutions while tackling pollution. China’s newly adopted Five-Year Plan officially caps total primary energy consumption to under five billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by 2020. While there is still room for improvement, this plan sets China on track to overachieve its 2020 targets while putting the country’s clean energy sector in a position to take off.
- Accelerated action brings cleaner air and better health. As renewables are increasingly eating into coal’s energy share in China, new findings show that the nation’s coal use may have peaked, as well as its carbon emissions. Paired with a strong Five-Year Plan, accelerating ambition over the next five years could help the nation clean up its air quicker and improve public health while bringing other substantial benefits to its people.
- Climate impacts know no borders, and climate action starts at home. Just weeks before governments are expected to sign the Paris agreement in New York, February’s heat record sent another stark warning of the urgency to meet the internationally agreed limit of 2 degC. Additionally, a new report published in the Lancet shows access to fresh fruit, vegetables and many other foods could be dramatically limited due to climate change by 2050, if actions such as the Five-Year Plan aren’t taken.