April 20, 2024
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RENEWABLE ENERGY

China Falling Short on Climate Targets

China is falling short on crucial targets aimed at reducing climate-warming emissions, raising concerns about its credibility in global climate talks.

Analysts warn that unless Beijing intensifies its efforts, it risks jeopardizing its reputation on the world stage.

According to Reuters, China has rarely failed to meet its targets. However, driven primarily by concerns over energy security, the government has displayed little political will to address the emissions gap, according to analysts.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s planning agency, acknowledged last week that it “fell short of expectations” in 2023 and pledged to redouble efforts in energy conservation and carbon reduction.

However, analysts note that China is significantly behind on its goals to reduce energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon intensity by 18% between 2021 and 2025.

According to Reuters, energy and carbon intensity measures, which gauge energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic growth, are pivotal to China’s commitments to peak emissions before 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2060.

Jom Madan, a senior research analyst with consultancy Wood Mackenzie, emphasized that meeting these targets would require “concerted efforts across all sectors to bridge the gap.”

However, the targets set by the planning commission for 2024 fall far short of what is needed, with only a 2.5% reduction mandated for energy intensity and no new target set for carbon intensity.

Failure to meet these targets could cast doubts globally on China’s ability to curb emissions and could undermine its diplomatic credibility, warned Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Myllyvirta estimated that China would need to cut energy intensity by 6% in 2024 and 2025 to meet its 2021-2025 target, significantly higher than the 2.5% goal set by the NDRC.

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