China makes headway in lowering carbon intensity in 2012

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Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation to the ongoing UN climate conference. [File photo]

China is expected to reduce its carbon intensity by 5 percent this year, on track to achieve its goal of a 17-percent cut from 2011 to 2015, head of the Chinese delegation to the ongoing UN climate conference said here on Monday.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), made the remarks at a high-level forum at the Chinese corner on the sidelines of the climate talks in Qatari capital Doha.

"The first nine months of 2012 registered a reduction of 3.4 percent," he said, adding that an estimated 5-percent cut is expected for the second year of the Chinese government's current Five-Year-Plan.

In 2011, the beginning year of the 12th five-year national plan for development, China's carbon intensity or the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP went down by 2.1 percent thanks to its efforts to promote energy efficiency, clean energy and forest protection, Xie said.

"In the last two years, some inefficient power plants (8 million kilowatts) were shut, so were some outdated ironworks, steelworks and cement plants," he added.

According to the newly released annual NDRC report on national climate actions, China more than doubled its solar power generating capacity and increased its wind and hydropower capacities last year.

Despite being a developing country faced with an overriding task to improve the well-being of its large population, China has announced ambitious targets in its emissions-cut efforts.

Besides pledging to significantly trim its carbon intensity, its current Five-Year-Plan also promises to slash the energy consumption per GDP unit by 16 percent and raise the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the overall primary energy mix to 11.4 percent.

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