Peggy Liu: Earthshattering News About China That You Haven’t Heard About

Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, shares the cheatsheet on China’s recent climate change announcements. Full article below: 

peggy liu

The earthshattering news about China that you haven’t heard about (#4)
Cheatsheet: China’s recent climate change announcements

By Peggy Liu, JUCCCE Chairperson

Most of the world believes that China is idly standing by while it and the world’s environment degrades. In reality, China has been quietly and determinedly undergoing a green transformation.

China’s coal cap, the first in the world, will hopefully lead the way for other countries to announce an absolute cap (not percentage reduction) in time for Paris climate negotiations in 2015.

What does ‪China’s new ‪coal cap mean for Australia & Indonesia? Better not depend on exporting coal to China for growth in the long run.


(a) 2007 China issues its first ever National Climate Change Programme up to 2010

(b) 2009, in advance of the Copenhagen climate negotiations, the Chinese government pledged to cut carbon intensity by 40% to 45% by 2020 below 2005 levels.

(c) Mar 14, 2011 China’s 12th five-year plan (2011 to 2015) sets key targets: Increasing non-fossil fuel resources to 11.4% of primary energy consumption by 2015;
Reducing energy intensity by 16% between 2010 and 2015; and
Reducing carbon intensity by 17% between 2010 and 2015.

(1) Sep 17, 2014 right before the UN Climate Summit, China approved a 40-page National Climate Change Plan for 2014-2020
Chinese steel and cement producers which currently make up about one-fifth of the country’s total carbon emissions will cap emissions by 2020 at 2015 levels.

(2) October 24, 2014 New voluntary Guidelines for Social Responsibility in Outbound Mining ensure that Chinese companies do not trade in conflict minerals abroad.
China is one of the major players in many conflict-affected areas.
“It is part of China being able to say, at the global level, we are a responsible player”

(3) Nov 12, 2014 historic US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change.
China pledged for the first time to cap its CO2 emission by 2030 and
extend its renewable energy sources targets from 15% in 2020 to 20% in 2030
That means adding some 800-1,000 gigawatts of zero-carbon power in 16 years, which is “more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.”

(4) Nov 19, 2014 This is earth shattering coal cap news that has largely gone unnoticed and should lead the way for other countries in the climate negotiations.

What does ‪China’s new ‪coal cap mean for Australia & Indonesia? Better not depend on exporting coal for growth in the long run.

Practically a week after the US-China announcement and in advance of Lima, China did their own separate announcement

Launch of new energy strategy action plan (2014-2020).
Cap absolute coal consumption in 2020 at 4.2 billion tons. 16.3% more than the 3.6 billion tonnes burned last year.
Coal’s share of China’s primary energy mix will be reduced to less than 62 percent by 2020 from the current level of 66 percent.
“Beijing [province] alone would need to cut coal use by 99 percent to below 200,000 tonnes by 2030. The big consuming regions of Hebei, Tianjin and Shandong” would have to cut coal use by up to 27 percent by 2030.”
This means the annual growth rate of primary energy consumption must be limited within 3.5 percent for the next six years.

The share of natural gas will be raised to above 10 percent.
8 new natural gas production bases by 2020, each capable of producing 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
In addition to conventional natural gas extraction, China wants to produce 30 billion cubic meters each of shale gas and coalbed methane (CMB) per year by 2020.
Installed nuclear power capacity will reach 58 gigawatts and those under construction will top 30 gigawatts by 2020.
Installed capacity of hydro-, wind and solar power is expected to be 350 gigawatts, 200 gigawatts and 100 gigawatts, respectively.
The extra focus on deepwater drilling for both oil and gas will help China both assert its territorial claims and achieve its goal of 85 percent energy independence by 2020.

(5) Nov 25, 2014 China has announced plans to establish a nationwide carbon market in 2016
China started carbon-permit trading trials in seven regions in 2011, which have traded a combined 13.75 million tons of carbon dioxide as of October, totaling 500 million yuan (US$81 million)

(6) Effective November 29, 2014 China raises tax on gasoline, diesel. Except small motorcycles for low income people
1 yuan (USD 16 cents) to 1.12 yuan per liter gasoline
0.8 to 0.94 for diesel
Will raise 40 billion yuan from last year
Oil dipped in price so overall price will be flat

(7) Nov 29 Beijing has adopted a smoking ban in all indoor public spaces including workplaces and public transport. And open-air spaces in schools, child welfare institutions, women and children’s hospitals, fitness and sports venues, as well as cultural relic protection sites. Effective Jun 2015.
Fine of up to 200 yuan ($32.50). The punishment would focus more on the operators and managers of these areas with a tobacco ban, instead of individuals
The number of smokers in Beijing alone exceeds 400,000 people.
Ban on outdoor tobacco advertisements and as well on TV and in films and newspapers, title sponsors.
Teachers cannot smoke in front of students in primary and secondary schools..
Teachers must give lectures to students about harmful effects of smoking.
Bans the selling cigarettes to minors through vending machines and internet.

(8) Upcoming new pollution action plan will tackle China’s increasing air and water pollution from two main focuses: large scale industrial enterprises and industrial clusters.
The plan will launch a RMB50 billion (US$8.13 billion) environmental protection fund to provide low interest long-term priority loans to pollution fighting companies.
The fund would receive capital from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Finance.

(9) Carbon taxes are under consideration. China is now developing carbon tax proposals that would take into consideration these ‘‘true costs,’’ to adequately offset them.

———————- COAL BACKGROUNDER ———————-

(10) China is largest coal user. In 2013, China consumed 50.3% of the world’s total coal consumption, 4.2 times what the U.S. consumed, and 6.7 times that of the EU.

(11) China has been addicted to coal. Coal = 70% of the China’s primary energy production & consumption, which far exceeds the 20% avg in developed countries.

(12) Coal = carbon emissions. (2012) Emissions from #coalconsumption = 62% of China’s total primary PM2.5 emissions, 93% of SO2 emissions, 70% of NOx emissions.

(13) The True cost of coal. $80 per ton plus an additional $43 in social costs.

———————- SOURCES ———————-

(1) The plan spells out a comprehensive new program — including new and amended climate change legislation, emissions standards, permits and regulations; mitigation and adaptation measures; fiscal, tax and investment policies; steps to improve R&D, GHG monitoring, reporting and verification and personnel capacity; and improvements in governmental coordination and international cooperation.
(2) According to section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act passed in 2011 in the US, companies listed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including any Chinese firms, must carry out a country of origin inquiry on all tin, tantalum, tungsten – for which demand in the US is very high – or gold contained in their products. If these resources come from Democratic Republic of Congo, which due to the global supply chain is completely possible, or adjoining countries, the companies have to carry out supply chain due diligence to determine whether they have funded armed groups in the DRC.
Tsinghua University released a study stating that China can reduce carbon and air pollution and grow its economy.
(9) November 4, 2014, Natural Resources Defense Council’s report as part of the China Coal Consumption Cap Plan and Policy Research Project: “The True Cost of Coal in 2012.”…
(10) (10) (11) October 20, 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council’s report as part of the China Coal Consumption Cap Plan and Policy Research Project: “Coal Utilization’s Contribution to China’s Air Pollution.”
(13) November 4, 2014, Natural Resources Defense Council’s report as part of the China Coal Consumption Cap Plan and Policy Research Project: “The True Cost of Coal in 2012.”

Peggy Liu

Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, is internationally recognized for her expertise on China’s sustainability landscape and for fostering international collaboration with China. JUCCCE is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the greening of China, because a green China is the key to a healthy world. JUCCCE is a leader in creating systemic change in sustainable cities, sustainable consumerism and smart grid, and most noted for its multi-sector convening power. Peggy has a passion for making the world a better place.

As one of the leading green thinkers in China, Peggy was honored as the Hillary Step for Climate Change Solutions in 2012, a Time MagazineHero of the Environment in 2008, the Hillary Laureate of 2010 for climate change leadership, a Forbes “Women to Watch in Asia” in 2010, a Huffington Post “Greatest Person of the Day” in 2011, one of China’s top 50 innovative business leaders by China Business News Weekly in 2012.

Contact China Speakers Agency  today to engage Peggy for your next event.

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