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China Promises To Do More To Tackle Climate Change

China is ready to do more to tackle climate change, the country’s chief climate advisor said, as quoted by Reuters, and plans to deliver this message to the UN before this year’s end.

“China is definitely going to launch a very powerful low-carbon development target,” the official, Xie Zhenhua said during a conversation with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He added that China’s commitment will span the period until 2050.

China is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide but it is also the biggest investor in renewable energy projects. However, the country’s emissions are still on the rise and they will only peak in 2030, under current decarbonization plans. Europe has asked China to try and accelerate the decarbonization push, moving peak emissions to 2025.

Recently, even the country’s state oil companies joined the push, declaring their climate change goals for the long term.

Petrochina said it planned to bring its carbon dioxide emissions down to near zero by 2050, with investments of $1.5 billion annually until 2025 on a mix of natural gas and renewable energy projects.

Sinopec, on the other hand, said it would bet on hydrogen, Reuters reported in early September, with the company’s ambition focusing on it becoming the leader on the Chinese hydrogen market. Sinopec already has 14 percent of China’s hydrogen capacity, or some 3 million tons.

CNOOC, the state major that focuses on offshore oil and gas, unsurprisingly will focus on offshore wind. It has plans to invest between 3 and 5 percent of its budget on wind projects but also double its natural gas output by 2025 aiming for it to account for 30 percent of total production from 19 percent now.

Meanwhile, China will also be reducing its dependence on coal, Xie also said during his conversation with Rudd. Despite concern that China was approving new coal-fired power plants, the top climate advisor to Beijing said China’s coal consumption had plateaued in 2013 and was not rising from those levels.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • One Second on September 23 2020 said:
    That makes a lot of sense. Not only can China shame the US "bigly" on this, but all the most promising economic development is pointing to low or zero carbon emission technologies anyway, which will create the most wealth for China. So they can create a lot of global goodwill, while having a sound growth strategy for their industry and while cleaning up their air and further demonstrate that the US is falling behind ever more with every passing week.
  • Carlos Blanco on September 22 2020 said:
    This is great news. And bp might not be too pessimistic overall with regard to declining oil demand projection. If the biggest user of fossil fuel has pledged to push towards decarbonization, it’s inevitable that oil demand will decline even faster.

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