Governing China’s Energy Sector to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Philip Andrews-Speed in Green:

China accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy. The absolute quantity of emissions continued to rise at 2-3% per year during the decade to 2019, and is estimated to have grown by 0.8% during the Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020. This continuing increase of COemissions is caused by the ongoing growth of the economy which in turn has been driving annual energy consumption rises of more than 4%. Fossil fuels are still dominant. In 2019, they provided for 85% of the primary energy supply, with coal accounting for 57%. Coal consumption did decline between 2013 and 2016, but it then rose a total of 3% between 2016 and 2019. Energy consumption continued to rise during the 2020 pandemic, with that for coal increasing by an estimated 0.6%. Demand for coal is likely to rise sharply in 2021 as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic. Consumption of both oil and natural gas continued to increase in 2020 and demand for both fuels is set to accelerate in 2021.

This, then, is the background against which China’s government will be drawing up their short- and medium-term plans for achieving President Xi Jinping’s pledge reach peak COemissions before 2030 and to strive for carbon neutrality by 2060. A drastic reduction of COemissions from the energy sector will be the most essential element, but not the only one. Other sources of emissions such as agriculture are also relevant, as are carbon sinks.

More here.