China can meet key climate commitments: report

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CRI, December 3, 2015
Adjust font size:

The latest World Wildlife Fund report says China's commitments to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of non-fossil fuels as part of its primary energy consumption are not only possible but also economically and technically feasible.

According to the report, China has the technical potential to meet 84% of its electricity needs through renewable energy by 2050 - and at a much lower cost than with coal.

WWF's China's Future Generation 2.0 integrates analysis from the Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri), modeling hour-by-hour power supply and demand from the present through 2050.

Incorporating assumptions of only modest technology innovation, the report finds that China could meet key international commitments it has made ahead of the climate talks in Paris, which include to peak overall carbon emissions and generate 20% of its primary energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

The report also shows that coal could be eliminated from China's power mix by 2050 or even earlier.

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative, says China has an important opportunity at the UN climate negotiations to further marshal support toward a strong agreement.

"Our data shows that the targets China has set are not only ambitious, but entirely realistic. This year we're expecting China's energy-related CO2 emissions to flatline or even to decrease – continuing and accelerating these encouraging trends are critical to the world's future. Today's report shows that this future is within reach, and at a fraction of the cost of the country's current path."

The report also positively estimated that China, as the world's most populous and energy-demanding nation, can simultaneously pursue aggressive energy efficiency initiatives to reduce electricity demand. These initiatives, including bold standards for appliances and industrial equipment, can reduce annual power consumption in 2050 by almost half.

Lo Sze Ping, CEO of WWF-China, believes that to achieve this highly efficient and renewable-energy-powered future, political will is a critical ingredient.

"The sooner the Chinese government releases clear energy transition signals, the more we can assure sustainable growth of China's economy."

Additional recommendations are also included in the report to call on more efforts at the government level. Those include to enact new stringent standards for air conditioners, water heaters, motors, and lighting, to abandon plans for coal gasification, and to accelerate power sector reforms to optimize electricity dispatch and set electricity prices for peak load management.

Updating a 2014 report, the new analysis from WWF and Entri finds that arriving at more than 80% renewable electricity generation is more feasible and more beneficial to China's economic interests than ever before.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from