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China Nears 2016 Carbon Emissions Target

Renewables

China’s climate change watchdog said 27 of the country’s 31 regions have met the carbon emission reduction targets Beijing set in 2016. The targets include an 18-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP growth as well as a cap on overall energy consumption at 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent over the period of 2016 to 2020. That’s compared with 4.3 billion tons of coal equivalent for 2015.

China is among the world’s biggest polluters, with CO2 emissions per capita at 10,151 metric tons as of 2016. To compare, the United States is far behind—with emissions at just 5,312 metric tons of CO2 per capita. On the other hand, IEA data shows that the biggest polluters—per capita, at least—are in the Middle East, with Qatar emitting 35.73 tons of CO2 per capita and Saudi Arabia producing 16.4 tons per capita.

At the same time, China is also the most generous investor in renewable energy, last year pledging to pour US$361 billion into renewables by 2020. By that year, renewable energy capacity should produce about 50 percent of new energy output.

Meanwhile, Beijing has intensified its pressure on heavy polluters, closing steel mills and curbing coal consumption, aiming to replace it with gas as the less polluting f¬uel. However, a strict ban on coal use has left some provinces struggling with natural gas shortages, highlighting the challenges that China faces in its transition from major polluter to climate-change-fight champion. These shortages caused the country to ease its coal import restrictions for the time being, although the long-term plan remains to move away from coal.

Related: Renewable Energy On The Rise In U.S. Electricity Generation

Renewables adoption is also not without problems: due to lack of power transmission and distribution infrastructure, a lot of the power produced by solar and wind installations in China never reaches the end consumers, costing the industry billions of dollars in lost production.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Will Murphy on January 13 2018 said:
    The EIA projects the level of coal-fired power generation from China will be the same in 2040 as 2015, even though electricity demand will grow substantially. As the US and other countries move away from coal-fired power generation, and as is article states, there are CO2 (other pollutants) emissions benefits, the price of coal worldwide is going to stagnate or fall in the coming years. This has been considered seriously by Saudi Arabia. Coal could displace the use of oil for the country, while keeping electricity generation costs manageable in the process of raising fuel prices.

    Saudi Arabia, which is a top-10 emitter of CO2, is currently in the process of raising the prices of crude oil, refined oil products, and natural gas. Doing so will result in a substantial decline in pollutant emissions from oil. This was put forth for electricity generators in this paper:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309595330_The_prospects_for_coal-fired_power_generation_in_Saudi_Arabia
    n, and as is article states, there are CO2 (other pollutants) emissions benefits, the price of coal worldwide is going to stagnate or fall in the coming years. This has been considered seriously by Saudi Arabia. Coal could displace the use of oil for the country, while keeping electricity generation costs manageable in the process of raising fuel prices.

    Saudi Arabia, which is a top-10 emitter of CO2, is currently in the process of raising the prices of crude oil, refined oil products, and natural gas. Doing so will result in a substantial decline in pollutant emissions from oil. This was put forth for electricity generators in this paper:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309595330_The_prospects_for_coal-fired_power_generation_in_Saudi_Arabia
  • Godfree Roberts on January 09 2018 said:
    "China is among the world’s biggest polluters, with CO2 emissions per capita at 10,151 metric tons as of 2016. To compare, the United States is far behind"

    Nonsense. According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Indicators, annual carbon dioxide emissions [tonnes] per capita:

    China: 7.6

    USA: 16.4


    Comparing apples to apples: "The Chinese are among the world’s smallest polluters, with CO2 emissions per capita at 7.61 metric tons as of 2016. To compare, the United States is far worse, at 16.4 metric tons.

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