China to Start Cutting CO2 Emissions in 2050

by | Aug 17, 2009

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emissions1China’s top climate change policy maker says carbon emissions will start falling in 2050, which is the first time the world’s largest emitter has provided a target date for carbon reductions, reports the Financial Times.

Still, China, along with India, have resisted pressure from developed countries to set a date for reducing emissions by an overall average of 50 percent by 2050, saying that developed countries should taking responsibility first, reports the Financial Times.

At a G8 meeting in July, China and India would not agree to a 50 percent cut in global emissions by 2050, posing a major roadblock for global climate change talks in Copenhagen in December, reports Reuters.

Su Wei, director-general of the climate change department at the National Development and Reform Commission, reiterated Beijing’s belief that China still needs to grow its economy and reduce poverty before it discusses emissions caps, reports Financial Times. He said “emissions will not continue to rise beyond 2050,” according to the newspaper.

Wei also said in the article that the government would increase policies aimed at cutting emissions growth, which under the country’s current five-year plan calls for an energy intensity reduction of 20 percent by 2010.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, recently approved draft rules that would lay the foundation for evaluating the emissions impact of new investments, reports the Financial Times. The government is also working on a new set of policies for renewable energy development.

The UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research recently said China’s energy-related CO2 output would peak in 2030 at 57 percent above current levels. The Chinese Academy of Sciences agreed, saying that China’s emissions could peak between 2030 and 2040, although other Chinese experts say carbon output will keep rising until 2050 unless they adopt drastic controls, reports the Financial Times.

A recent research study out of China calls for carbon emissions to peak by 2030. The “2050 China Energy and C02 Emissions Report” suggests that proper policies could slow emissions growth by 2020, with a peak by 2030, Reuters reports.

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