June 18, 2024
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China Set More Stringent Energy Intensity Goals

China on Tuesday set tougher energy efficiency goals for 2024, after missing its last year’s target. The world’s largest energy consumer, is striving hard to keep from falling further behind on its climate targets in a five-year plan ending in 2025.

In report released at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that China is looking to cut the amount of energy used per unit of economic growth, by 2.5% in 2024, higher than last year’s missed 2% goal.

China reported last week that its energy intensity fell just 0.5% in 2023. It also missed last year’s target to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP.

“Due to the rapid growth of industrial and civilian energy consumption, reductions in energy and carbon intensity … fell short of expectations,” the NDRC said in the report on Tuesday.

Primary energy production last year amounted to 4.83 billion metric tons of standard coal, 4.2% higher than 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics said last week.

Energy use per unit of economic growth fell 2% between 2020 and 2023, leaving China way behind on its five-year plan target of a 13.5% cut for the 2021-2025 period, according to research by two energy think-tanks last month.

In order to meet its target, China will need to intensity by 6% and carbon intensity by 7% in both 2024 and 2025. The Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air and the U.S. group Global Energy Monitor said.

In its report, the NDRC vowed to “redouble efforts” to cut emissions and boost energy efficiency this year. It will also “refine” its carbon pricing mechanisms and expand the coverage of its emissions trading scheme to more sectors.

On its part, the government will also set up a national platform of research into clean energy and storage. It also pledged to continue the “robust, safe, and orderly development” of nuclear power and build more offshore reactor units where conditions were appropriate.

The government also calls for reforms of energy pricing including for the pipeline transportation of refined petroleum products.

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