China met 2020 carbon intensity target ahead of schedule says Xie Zhenhua

Vastavam web: China met its 2020 carbon intensity target three years ahead of schedule last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s top climate official Xie Zhenhua.China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, cut its 2005 carbon intensity level, or the amount of climate-warming carbon dioxide it produces per unit of economic growth, by 46 percent in 2017, Xie told a forum in Shanghai on Tuesday.

China originally promised to cut its 2005 carbon intensity by 40 percent to 45 percent. The pledge, first made in 2009, was included in the country’s commitments to the international community ahead of negotiations for a new global climate pact in Paris in 2015.However, China struggled to honour another promise to establish a nationwide emissions cap and trade system by 2017, with the scheme delayed by technical problems, including the reliability of emissions data. The country eventually settled for a scaled-back scheme involving only the power sector, which was launched in December last year.

But the issue has been complicated by the decision, made at this year’s full session of parliament, to transfer responsibility for climate change and carbon emissions to an expanded Ministry of Ecology and Environment. It was previously under the remit of the state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).Xie was formerly vice-chairman of the NDRC and is now a special envoy with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.