VII. Objectives, Policies and Actions during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period

VII. Objectives, Policies and Actions during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will take addressing global climate change as an important task in its economic and social development. With scientific development as the theme and accelerating the transformation of the country' s economic development pattern as the main focus, China will foster the concept of green and low-carbon development, and take addressing climate change as an important strategy for its economic and social development as well as an important opportunity for economic restructuring and the transformation of its economic development pattern. It will adhere to the new road of industrialization, rationally control total energy consumption, take various measures such as comprehensively optimizing the industrial structure and energy mix, practicing energy conservation and raising energy efficiency, and increasing the capacity of carbon sinks to , effectively control greenhouse gas emissions, improve the capacity to cope with climate change, conduct extensive international cooperation on climate change, and promote sustainable economic and social development.

1. Main Objectives

Before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference was held in 2009, the Chinese government had announced the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions per-unit GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 as compared with that in 2005, and had it included as a compulsory indicator in its medium- and long-term program for national economic and social development. In March 2011, the Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People' s Republic of China adopted by the National People's Congress stated the following compulsive objectives to address climate change during the 12th Five-Year Plan period: By 2015, carbon dioxide emission per-unit GDP would be reduced by 17 percent and energy consumption per-unit GDP by 16 percent as compared with that in 2010; the proportion of consumption of non-fossil energy to the consumption of primary energy would be increased to 11.4 percent; and the acreage of new forests would increase by 12.5 million ha, with the forest coverage rate raised to 21.66 percent and the forest growing stock increased by 600 million cu m. This fully demonstrates Chinese government' s determination to promote low-carbon development and address climate change.

2. Policies and Actions

Centering on the aforesaid objectives, China will cope with climate change in the following 11 major aspects during the 12th Five-Year Plan period:

First, strengthening the legal system building and strategic planning. In accordance with the requirements set in the Resolution of the Standing Committee of the National People' s Congress on Making Active Responses to Climate Change, China will study and enact special laws in addressing climate change, and revise relevant laws, regulations, rules and standards in line with the requirements of the work on climate change. China will also conduct research in low-carbon development strategy and study of the overall strategy to adapt to climate change, put forward China' s road map for technological development to respond to climate change and control greenhouse gas emission, and compile the National Plan to Address Climate Change (2011-2020) to guide the work in the coming ten years.

Second, accelerating economic restructuring. Through policy readjustment and institutional innovation, China will promote industrial upgrading and optimization, and accelerate the transformation of the economic development pattern. It will limit the excessively rapid expansion of energy-hungry and high-emission industries, accelerate the pace of eliminating backward production capacity, vigorously develop modern services, foster newly emerging industries with strategic significance, and speed up R&D of low-carbon technology and product promotion, with a view to gradually establishing energy, industry, transportation and construction systems featuring low-carbon development..

Third, optimizing energy mix and developing clean energy. China will rationally control its total energy consumption, formulate energy development plans, and define the total consumption control target and the mechanism to share out the tasks and responsibilities. It will accelerate the development of clean coal technology, push forward the production and use of clean coal, promote the rapid growth of natural gas output, speed up the development and utilization of such unconventional oil-gas resources as coal-bed gas and shale gas, safely and efficiently develop nuclear energy, and accelerate the development of renewable water, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy in accordance with local conditions.

Fourth, continuing to implement key energy-conservation projects. China will carry out various energy--conservation renovation, including the remodeling of boiler and kiln systems, motor system energy saving, energy system optimization, utilization of residual heat and pressure, economical use and substitution of oil, energy conservation in buildings and green lighting. It will also carry out key energy-conservation projects such as demonstration projects in the industrialization of energy-saving technology, energy-saving product promotion, popularization of energy performance contracting and energy-saving capacity building, promote energy conservation in the key fields and sectors of industry, construction and transport, and endeavor to raise overall energy efficiency.

Fifth, vigorously developing a circular economy. China will continue to coordinate low-carbon development strategies, and other resources- and environment-related policies, support technological R&D, demonstration and popularization, and capacity building for the development of a circular economy, and make efforts to increase the productivity of resources. China will compile an overall national circular economic development plan, intensify demonstration pilot projects, speed up the establishment of an evaluation index and statistical systems that can reflect the development of the circular economy, and make key enterprises, industrial parks and cities ecology friendly through application of recycling technologies and the market mechanism.

Sixth, steadily launching low-carbon pilot projects. China will organize provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities chosen to undertake pilot projects to compile low-carbon development plans, actively explore low-carbon development modes with local characteristics, take the lead in formulating policies, systems and mechanisms conducive to low-carbon development, and speed up the establishment of industrial systems and consumption patterns characterized by low-carbon development. China will also organize low-carbon pilot projects in industrial parks, communities and commerce.

Seventh, gradually establishing a carbon emissions trading market. China will, drawing on the experience of the international carbon emissions trading market while taking into consideration its actual conditions, gradually promote the establishment of a carbon emissions trading market. The country will further reform the price formation mechanism of carbon emissions trading by standardizing voluntary trading in emission reduction and discharge rights, gradually establish trans-provincial and trans-regional emissions trading systems, so as to give full play to the fundamental role of the market mechanism in optimizing the allocation of resources, and realize the objective of controlling greenhouse gas emission at minimum cost.

Eighth, enhancing the capacity of carbon sinks. China will vigorously promote afforestation, continue to carry out ecological protection projects, such as the key shelterbelt construction project in Northwest, Northeast and North China and along the Yangtze River, and projects to return farmland to forest, natural forest conservation project, the program to control sandstorms in the Beijing and Tianjin area, and the comprehensive treatment program of rocky desertification in the karst areas. China will also make extensive efforts to promote afforestation in the urban areas and speed up the building of forest eco-barriers for the cities. At the same time, it will conduct pilot projects in carbon sink afforestation and promote the healthy and orderly development of forest carbon sinks. It will continue to carry out projects such as protective farming and turning grazing area back to grassland, and increase the areas of farmland and grassland carbon sinks.

Ninth, enhancing the capacity of adaptation to climate change. China will attach great importance to capability building in addressing extreme climate events, and enhancing the capacity to respond to climate change in the key fields of farming, forestry, water resources and public health, as well as in the coastal and eco-fragile areas. It will study and formulate policies and measures allowing agriculture and forestry to respond to climate change, and guaranteeing food and ecological safety. It will rationally tap and optimize the allocation of water resources, and strengthen various water-saving policies and measures. It will enhance monitoring and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems, and increase the coastal areas' capacity to resist marine disasters. It will improve the emergency-response system, starting mechanism and multi-disaster early warning mechanism to tackle extreme meteorological disasters.

Tenth, continuously strengthening capacity building. China will establish a basic statistical system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, and intensify statistical work on renewable resources, and resource supply and consumption. It will strengthen scientific and technological support, promote independent R&D of key low-carbon technologies, and expand low-carbon technology demonstration and popularization. It will further improve systems and mechanisms conducive to the development of human resources to cope with climate change, and constantly improve their quality. It will also extensively publicizes knowledge necessary to respond to climate change and advocate low-carbon consumption through the mass media.

Eleventh, carrying out all-directional international cooperation on climate change. China will continue to strengthen dialogues and exchanges with developed countries, initiate South-South cooperation on climate change in an all-round way, conduct capacity building and training in response to climate change, carry out technological cooperation programs to adapt to climate change, and organize energy-saving and water-saving activities as well as publicize and give out new-energy products and facilities. It will provide practical support to other developing countries in coping with climate change, and gradually build up a comprehensive system of foreign exchanges and cooperation under the guidance of a general plan, with the support of special funds and a contingent of professionals and with effective coverage of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, as well as technology transfer and capacity building in addressing climate change.

In 2011, the Chinese government released the Comprehensive Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction during the 12th Five-Year Plan period and the Work Plan for Greenhouse Gas Emission Control during the 12th Five-Year Plan period, making an overall arrangement for energy conservation, emission reduction and greenhouse gas emission control during that period.