Day 1 at COP: China and Climate Change ~ Progress and Goals

COP19 Chinese pavilion with charactersby Difu Li T’14

After registration at COP19, our first event was the high level seminar on climate change at the China Pavilion. Mr. Zhenhua Xie, head of China delegation and the vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China opened the event with a brief review of what China has achieved in the past 8 years, post Copenhagen.

Unlike other countries, which are actually expected to raise their targets from 1990 levels, China will commit to tougher carbon reduction targets in its next five-year plan, due in 2015.

  • Energy consumption goal: The energy consumption per unit GDP has been brought down by 23.5%, equivalent to 2.35B tons of CO2, which is a promising progress towards the 40-45% reduction by 2015.
  • Climate change commitment: The recently ended third plenum of the Chinese Communist party’s 18th Central Committee has confirmed China’s commitment to addressing climate change. The Chinese national adaptation strategy to climate change was also launched during the event.
  • Emission trading system: Shenzhen was among the 7 pilot cities/provinces for a carbon emission trading system (ETS), launching its platform this past June. The trading volume is about 150K ton/day, and the price of carbon per ton is about 85RMB (~$14). Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong and Tianjin will launch their platforms by the end of 2013.
  • Increased investment in R&D: Converting CO2 to plastics seems a promising technology to bring down the cost of CCS.
  • International collaboration for climate change: China will keep on supporting the South-South Cooperation (the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries) by providing energy saving products, training and technology to developing countries in Africa. China also urged developed countries to fulfill their promise of providing $100 billion to poor countries between 2013 and 2020.

COP19 Chinese pavilion Difu & mayorOne exciting moment for me was meeting Mr. Jie Tang, deputy mayor of Shenzhen, the city where I came from. He shared the great experience of how Shenzhen was able to successfully implement the ETS system by providing reasonable targets and quote allocations to all the enterprises. Mr. Tang is also very open, positive and willing to share, which gives more confidence about the future of my city as well as the ETS.

COP19 Chinese pavilion Brian caligraphyWe also took in the exhibition at the China Pavilion. My fellow Tuck delegates, Brian and Harry, tried Chinese calligraphy and were interviewed by Chinese journalists. Their images will be included in a documentary describing China’s effort in climate change. It’s great to have Tuckies involved in China’s commitment to climate change.

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One thought on “Day 1 at COP: China and Climate Change ~ Progress and Goals

  1. I have little doubt that China will be the game-changer on climate issues in the next decade. The huge side benefit of that, of course will be, in the process, the US will be shamed into following. But China’s leadership, especially at the regional level, needs to take it much faster to move from words to action.

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