III. Mitigating Climate Change
The Chinese government has reached its goal of reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP and has achieved positive results since 2012 by controlling greenhouse gas emissions by adjusting the industrial structure, improving the energy structure, making energy use more efficient and increasing carbon sinks.
(I) Adjusting the Industrial Structure
Transforming and upgrading traditional industries. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Environment Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources have raised the entry threshold for industries by enhancing the evaluation and examination for energy saving, and improving the assessment of environmental impact and the pre-examination of land resources for construction, to strictly control the launch of the industries with high energy consumption, high emissions or excess capacity and exports of the products from high energy consumption or high emission industries. In February 2013, NDRC cooperated with relevant administrations to amend the 2011 edition of the Guideline Catalogue for Industrial Restructuring, highlighting the strategic principle of energy saving and emission reduction by improving and upgrading the industrial structure. In March 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the Restructuring Plan on the Old National Industrial Bases (2013-2022), in which it pointed out that China needs to restructure and upgrade its traditionally-advantageous industries, enhance its competitiveness and improve its industrial structures by adopting new technologies. In the 12th Five-Year Plan period, NDRC initiated the National Low Carbon Tech Innovation and Model Industries Projects, among which 34 model projects have been launched in the coal, electric power, construction and building materials industries in 2012.
Supporting the development of strategic and newly emerging industries. In July 2012, the State Council issued the Development Plan for National Strategic Emerging Industries during the 12th-Five-Year Plan. It charts the road map for seven strategic emerging industries – energy conservation and environmental protection, new-generation information technology, biology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and new-energy vehicles. It has mapped out a sequence of specific plans for the seven strategic and newly emerging industries and over 20 areas of science and technology, such as modern biological manufacturing. It has also issued several policies and measures, such as the Catalogue of Key Products and Services in Strategic Emerging Industries, the 2012 Strategic Emerging Industries Categories, Several Opinions on the Work of Enhancing the Intellectual Property Rights of the Strategic Emerging Industries. 26 provinces and cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, have issued plans or guidelines on the development of the strategic emerging industries. So far, 138 venture capital funds have been set up, managing 38 billion yuan. Among these funds, 38, with a total of 11 billion yuan, are designed to stimulate the development of the energy-saving, environmental protection and new energy sectors.
Vigorously developing the service industry. China has continuously implemented the State Council Opinions on Accelerating the Development of the Service Industry, the Opinions of the State Council General Office on Implementing the Policy Measures for Accelerating the Development of the Service Industry and other relevant documents. In December 2012, the State Council issued the 12th Five-Year Plan on the Development of the Service Industry, stipulating that the 12th Five-Year Plan marks an important period in stimulating the development of the service industry. China needs to strive to achieve the goals, which include increasing the ratio of the tertiary industry, raising the quality of the industry, pushing forward the reform and opening up of the industry and increasing the industry's capability to create jobs. The pattern of the development of the tertiary sector will eventually take shape as the industry has improved structure, heightened standards, adopted open and win-win cooperation and complementary models.
In May 2012, NDRC drew up the Guidelines for Speeding up and Cultivating International Cooperation and Improved Competitiveness in cooperation with relevant administrations, putting forward the mission of developing service industry trade, establishing a service trade system and raising the quality of international services trade. The ratio of the tertiary industry in 2012 increased by 1.5 percentage points compared with 2010.
Speeding up the elimination of backward production capacity. The State Council issued the Instructive Opinions on Solving the Problem of Overcapacity in October 2013, which proposed the general principle of respecting the law, tailoring policies to industries, multiple-measure approach and addressing both symptom and root cause, and also put forward the opinions on how to implement policies according to the characteristics of industries of steel, cement, electorlytic aluminum, glass and shipbuilding and set eight main tasks to slove the current overcapacity issue. The State Council further implemented the Notice on Issuing the Evaluation Measures on the Work of Eliminating Backward Production Capacity, improved the phasing-out system of the backward production capacity, encouraged local governments to set strict standards on energy consumption and emission standards, and sped up the process of eliminating the backward production capacity. In June 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology set a goal of eliminating 19 industries with backward production capacity and subsequently announced a name list of the enterprises concerned. It required local governments to break down the tasks and assign them to cities, towns and enterprises. After the evaluation in 2012, China eliminated obsolete production capacity in the following industries: iron smelting, 10.78 million tons; steel production, 9.37 million tons; coke, 24.93 million tons; cement (clinker and mill), 258.29 million tons; plate glass, 59.56 million cases; paper, 10.57 million tons; printing and dyeing, 3.26 billion meters; lead battery, 29.71 million kvah.
(II) Optimizing Energy Structure
Promoting the clean utilization of fossil fuel. In October 2012, NDRC issued the Natural Gas Development Plan During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, setting out the supply capacity of natural gas will reach 176 billion cubic meters in 2015, among which conventional natural gas will reach 138.5 billion cubic meters, synthetic natural gas 15-18 billion cubic meters, and mining and production of coal bed gas about 16 billion cubic meters. About 18 percent of residents from cities and towns will use natural gas. In 2012, NDRC and the National Energy Administration announced the Development Plan for Shale Gas (2011-2015); The Ministry of Finance and the National Energy Administration issued the Notice on Issuing the Subsidy Policies of Exploring and Utilizing Shale Gas, and arranged special funds to support shale gas projects. In September 2013, the State Council issued the Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, which stipulates the goals and requirements for controlling the consumption cap of coke and increasing the utilization of clean energy. The plan also requires increasing control over fossil fuel consumption and advancing the development of clean energy. By the end of 2012, the rate of thermal power units above 300,000 KWH was 75.6 percent, a year-on-year growth of 1.2 percent; a total of 54 supercritical coal-fired units were in operation, the highest figure in the world; the demonstration power station Tianjin Huaneng IGCC, designed, constructed and operated by China, was put into operation in December 2012. The power station marked a major breakthrough in China's clean coal generator technology.
Developing non-fossil fuel. In July 2012, the State Council issued Several Opinions on the Sound Development of the Photovoltaic Industry, articulating the policies and measures on developing the market for the adoption of photovoltaics, speeding up the adjustment of the industrial structure, regulating industrial development and improving the management and service of grid connections. The National Energy Administration issued the Development Plan for Solar Energy Generation during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, the Development Plan for Biomass Energy during the 12th Five-Year Period, the Guidelines on Promoting the Exploration and Use of Geothermal Energy, stipulating the guidelines, principles, goals, planning and key parts of the development of solar, biomass and geothermal energies and mapping out measures and institutions to guarantee and implement the development. China will continue to increase investments on renewable energy. It invested 127.7 billion yuan in hydropower stations, 77.8 billion yuan in nuclear power plants and 61.5 billion yuan in wind power in 2012. To encourage the purchase and grid integration of renewable energy power, the Ministry of Finance, NDRC and the National Energy Administration issued the Interim Measures on the Management of the Additional Subsidy Funds for Prices of Electricity from Renewable Energies, in order to subsidize renewable energies. In August 2013, NDRC issued the Interim Measures on the Management for Distributed Electricity Generation, setting out different supporting policies for distributed generation of wind, solar, biomass, ocean and geothermal energies. By the end of 2012, power generation capacity had reached 1.147 billion kw, up by 7.9 percent. Within this, the capacity of hydropower, which ranked first globally, reached 249 million kw, registering a year-on-year growth of 7.1 percent; nuclear power plants, 12.57 million kw, were equal to last year and the largest in the world; on-grid wind power capacity, which was the largest in the world, amounted to 61.42 million kw, increasing 32.9 percent year on year; on-grid solar power reached 3.41 million kw, growing 60.6 percent from a year earlier. The generation sets of non-fossil fuel, including, hydro, nuclear, wind and solar energies, took up 28.5 percent of the whole, 4.2 percentage points higher than the 2005 figure. The electricity generated from non-fossil fuel accounted for 21.4 percent of the total of on-grid electricity.
After efforts from all over the country, by the end of 2012, the one-time energy consumption of standard coal equivalent was 3.62 billion tons, among which, the coal accounted for 67.1 percent, dropping 1.3 percentage points compared with 2011; oil and natural gas was 18.9 percent and 5.5 percent, up 0.3 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points from the previous year; and non-fossil fuel made 9.1 percent, up 1.1 percentage points compared with 2011.
(III) Conserving Energy and Improving Energy Efficiency
Enhancing the evaluation of energy saving accountabilities. The State Council has issued the plans on energy saving, emissions reduction, and the development of energy-saving and environmental– protection industries, further stipulating the missions and goals for local governments, and specifying the policies and measures. In line with the plans, China releases quarterly reports on the completion of energy conservation targets in each region. China has improved evaluation system, adjust evaluation content and created a comprehensive process for evaluation. In 2013, NDRC cooperated with relevant ministries and administrations to evaluate the energy saving accountabilities of the provincial-level governments, and the results will be an important reference to the evaluation system of local governments and officials. China also awarded 530 model units and 467 people in energy saving during the 11th Five-Year Plan Period.
Implementing key energy conservative projects. Since 2012, China has invested 4.896 billion yuan within the central government's budget and 2.61 billion yuan worth of the central fiscal bonus in supporting 2,411 projects regarding high-efficiency, energy-saving technologies, model products and industries, contracted energy management, developing energy-saving monitoring institutions, energy-saving buildings and green lighting. Among the projects, around 1,215 monitoring institutions received 1.066 billion yuan from the budget of the central government, and 17 restructuring projects were financed with 130 million yuan from the central government's fiscal funds. Support for the 495 contracted energy management projects was enhanced with 302 million yuan coming from the central fiscal bonus. Energy saving projects have saved energy equivalent to more than 19.79 million tons of standard coal.
Improving energy efficiency standard and labeling scheme. NDRC and the Standardization Administration collaborated to implement the One Hundred Energy Efficiency Standard Promotion Projects, issuing over 60 energy saving standards since 2012, including limiting unit product energy consumption for high consumption industries, and energy capacity and efficiency of terminal use products, and fundamental standards for energy saving. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development approved and issued 10 industrial standards, including the Standards of the labels on the Energy Capacity and Efficiency of Buildings and Regulation on Energy Saving Technology in Heating Systems in Towns. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other ministries issued over 60 standards concerning new energy vehicles and the Ministry of Transport announced 21 batches of qualifying vehicles in line with limits set on fuel consumption in operational vehicles by the end of 2012, in a bid to improve energy saving projects and the standardized systems of new energy vehicles. By the end of May 2013, the energy efficiency labeling scheme has covered 28 kinds of terminal use products, after the implementation of the project.
Expanding energy conservative technologies and products. NDRC issued the 5th batch of the Catalogue on the Promotion of National Key Energy Saving Technologies, listing 49 technologies from 12 industries. The five batches of the catalogue have recommended 186 key energy saving low carbon technologies to the public. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance collaborated to issue the Notice of the Selection, Evaluation and Promotion on Advanced and Appropriate Technologies to Enhance Industrial Energy Saving and Emission Reduction and selected the first batch of 600 technologies from 11 key industries, including steel, chemicals and building materials. They jointly issued the Recommended Catalogue (3rd Batch) of Energy-Saving Mechanical and Electrical Equipment (Products), and the Catalogue (2nd Batch) of Obsolete Mechanical and Electrical Equipment (Products) Eliminated due to High Energy Consumption, and completed the construction of the platform of the industrial information concerning energy conservation and emission reduction. The ministries jointly issued the Implementation Plan on the Special Action of Industrial Energy Conservation and Green Development, the Notice on the Plan to Raise the Energy Efficiency of Electrical Machines (2013-2015), the Opinions on the Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction of Internal Combustion Engines, which pushed for restructuring and energy conservation of electrical machines in key industries, improved the emission-reducing technologies of internal combustion engines and the promotion of new products. The Ministry of Finance and NDRC have promoted the government procurement of the energy-saving products by issuing two batches of procurement lists. China will continue to expand the benefits of energy saving projects to its citizens. The government has set aside more than 30 billion yuan of fiscal grant for the projects, saving energy equal to 12 million tons of standard coal. The projects distributed over 90 million energy-saving electric home appliances, over 3.5 million energy-saving vehicles, over 14 million kw of energy-efficient electrical machines and 160 million energy-saving green lighting products.
Promoting energy conservation in construction industry. The General Office of the State Council circulated the Action Plan for Green Buildings, which was jointly drafted by NDRC and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The Ministry also issued the Special Blueprint of Conserving Energy in the Construction Sector during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period. By the end of 2012, the country had completed heat metering and energy efficiency renovations on 590 million square meters of existing residential buildings in northern China, saving energy equivalent to 4 million tons of standard coal and reducing about 10 million tons of CO2 emissions. All new buildings in cities and towns, or a total of 6.9 billion square meters of floor space, have reached the new energy saving standard, saving energy equivalent to 65 million tons of standard coal, or 150 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Driving energy conservation in transportation industry. The Ministry of Transport has continued to improve energy saving, emission reduction as well as climate change in key areas of the transportation industry. It gave a boost to supporting policies, and continued to undertake the special action on low-carbon transport for 1,000 companies dedicated to vehicles, ships, roads and ports. The ministry issued the Guidelines for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transport, in order to encourage local governments to promote the construction of city pedestrian and bicycle transport system by showcasing model pedestrian and bicycle transport systems. The Ministry of Science and Technology has rolled out a pilot green car project, billed as "10 cities, 1000 green cars," in 25 cities across the nation. It is estimated that the energy saving capacity in transport industry is equivalent to 4.2 million tons of standard coal or 9.17 million tons of CO2 emissions.
(IV) Increasing Forest Carbon Sinks
The State Council approved the second stage of the plan to curb the source of sandstorms in Beijing and Tianjin. The plan has been expanded to six provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and 138 towns. The State Forestry Administration issued the Plan on the Division of Work on Enhancing the Forest's Role in Tackling Climate Change to Implement the Durban Climate Change Conference Agreement, began to draft the fifth stage of the plan on the shelterbelt construction in northeast, northwest and northern China, announced the third stage plan on the shelterbelt construction along the Yangtze River, the Pearl River, as well as the greenery work on plains and Taihang Mountain. China will continue to improve forest management. Forestry subsidies from central fiscal revenue have been expanded from pilot regions to the whole country. China initiated a mid- and long-term plan to manage national forests, decided to build 15 model forests management bases, and issued measures on how to examine and evaluate the cultivation of forests as well as the regulations for their management. It launched a pilot program for sustainable management in 200 towns (forestry farms), taking lumbering as the center of the management. It also issued the Notice on Further Protection and Management of Forest Resources to proactively protect forest resources. The construction of the national monitoring system on forest sinks has made steady progress, as the program expanded from 17 pilot provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) to the whole country from 2012 to 2013, and a national data base and parameter model base for forestry sink calculation has been built at the initial stage. From 2012 to the first half of 2013, a total area of 10.25 million hectares was greened in afforestation drive, and 4.96 billion trees were planted in volunteer tree-planting drive and 10.68 million hectares of forests were cultivated, further strengthening forest sink capabilities.
(V) Controlling Emissions in Other Areas
Controlling greenhouse emission from agriculture. In 2012, the central government allocated 700 million yuan in special fund to support 2,463 fertilizer projects. The Ministry of Agriculture initiated and carried out a project categorizing formulas for fertilizers for different types of soil in thousands of villages. The central government earmarked 30 million yuan for special agrarian project funds and 300 million yuan for protective agrarian projects, promoting protective agrarian technologies in 204 towns (cities). The area of protective agrarian land increased to 1.64 million hectares. The central government invested 3 billion yuan to continue standardizing farming areas for pigs and cows. It also put emphasis on the renovation of livestock and poultry farms. The projects will set up several waste treatment facilities, including manure pits and sewage treatment sites. Biological resources and new energies, such as manure, solar and wind will be used for biomass generation, biomass energy projects, methane projects and the replacement of fossil fuels with solid bio-fuels and biomass in heating.
Tightening control over CO2 greenhouse gas. The State Council issued the 12th Five-Year Construction Plan on the Facilities for the Treatment and Reuse of Sewage and the 12th Five-Year Construction Plan on the Treatment of Domestic Garbage in Cities and Towns, actively controlling the methane emissions during garbage treatment. By the end of 2012, the garbage treatment rate had reached 76 percent, signaling that the majority of dumping grounds had collected, tunneled and treated emissions when burying garbage underground. China planned under the guideline of the Montreal Protocol to speed up the elimination of HCFCs. By June 2012, it had approved six plans for consumer industries and one plan for contracted capacity amid the first phase of the elimination of HCFCs. Emissions of HCFCs are expected to reach zero in 2013, saving energy equivalent to 200 million tons of CO2. China has launched research projects on current controlling technologies over non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from coal and charcoal manufacturing, garbage treatment, chemical manufacturing, refrigeration, electric power, electronics, metallurgy and foundries, both across the country and abroad, and has proposed technologies and policies to control non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.