National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation

Beijing, China

National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation

Beijing, China
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News Article | May 19, 2017

UN climate negotiators are pinning their hopes for the Paris Agreement's future on diplomatic arm-twisting after frustrating talks in Germany to win US support (AFP Photo/MARK RALSTON) Bonn (AFP) - After frustrating talks in Bonn with an American delegation in limbo, UN climate negotiators are pinning their hopes for the Paris Agreement's future on diplomatic arm-twisting at the highest level. On the campaign trail, now-president Donald Trump vowed to "cancel" the 196-nation pact to rein in global warming by curbing emissions from burning oil, coal and gas. He has not yet executed his threat, but Trump has made it clear where he stands. His secretary of state was a CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, and the Environmental Protection Agency head an anti-climate litigator. Trump has moved to slash EPA funding, and to loosen restrictions on coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions. Now the man who has called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China, is scheduled to rub shoulders with some of the world's most influential leaders in a duo of high-stakes huddles. The first is a May 26-27 summit in Sicily of the G7 rich nations, followed on July 7-8 by a meeting in Hamburg of the G20 major economies, of which the G7 also forms part. Key members of both groupings have already called on Trump to stay the climate course. "If Donald Trump is unclear on the lethal implications of his muddled climate policy then it’s up to the other leaders of the G7 to ensure he is aware of just how damaging his actions can be," said Mohamed Adow, an analyst with Christian Aid, which advocates for poor country interests at the UN climate forum. "They must make a strong case for action when they meet." At the G7 meeting, Trump will talk with his peers from Germany, Canada, France, Britain, Italy and Japan. The leaders of Germany and Canada, as well as France's new president Emmanuel Macron, are viewed as champions of the climate cause. But this type of multilateral discussion involves much diplomatic give-and-take on a wide range of political and economic issues of national interest. There are some doubts there will be time or space for a strong focus on global warming. The White House has said Trump will not announce his decision on the Paris Agreement until after the G7. Jochen Flasbarth, Germany's state secretary of the environment, said in Bonn this week that climate change was "one of the issues of highest priority" for his country's presidency of the G20. "We work very hard together with many other friends in the world to convince the US that staying in the Paris Agreement is the right way to go," he said. There are fears in the UN climate forum that an American withdrawal may prompt others to follow suit, or simply undermine the collective will -- crafted over two decades of tough negotiations -- to ramp up climate action over time. Also under threat is US climate funding. Trump is unlikely to honour an outstanding $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) pledged under his predecessor to the Green Climate Fund, or America's contribution to the budget of the UN climate secretariat (UNFCCC). The uncertainty cast a long shadow over technical negotiations, hosted by the UNFCCC in Bonn from May 8 to 18, on a nuts-and-bolts "rule book" to implement the deal. Some delegates said it might be better to let the US break ranks than let it undermine the negotiations from the inside. "It may be the case that he (Trump) is listening to the ExxonMobils and wanting to actually think through how to use that seat at the table," commented Adow. Others say the rest of the world should better "ride out" Trump's presidency and wait for the next administration to pursue America's commitments under the deal. - Who will be next? - But this comes with uncertainty. "After four years will there be a new president who is favouring" climate action? "Maybe not," said Qimin Chai of China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation. For Adow, China will be key in cranking up the pressure in the coming weeks. China's Xi Jinping was instrumental, alongside Barack Obama, in pushing the Paris deal through. On Sunday, Beijing hosted a meeting on international trade, attended by the leaders of such countries as Russia, Argentina, Belarus, Indonesia, the Philippines, Switzerland and Turkey. In what is considered a message of climate solidarity against Trump, the leaders' closing statement encouraged "all parties which have ratified it to fully implement the Paris Agreement." Other key opportunities for building diplomatic pressure, say observers, include the so-called Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on May 22 and 23, which will draw participants from 35 countries, and an EU-China business summit in Brussels on June 2. Trump is also due to meet Pope Francis, a strong proponent of global action against climate change, at the Vatican on May 24.

Liu Q.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation | Gu A.,Tsinghua University | Teng F.,Tsinghua University | Song R.,World Resource Institute | Chen Y.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation
Energies | Year: 2017

China has submitted its nationally determined contribution to peak its energy-related emissions around 2030. To understand how China might develop its economy while controlling CO2 emissions, this study surveys a number of recent modeling scenarios that project the country's economic growth, energy mix, and associated emissions until 2050. Our analysis suggests that China's CO2 emissions will continue to grow until 2040 or 2050 and will approximately double their 2010 level without additional policy intervention. The alternative scenario, however, suggests that peaking CO2 emissions around 2030 requires the emission growth rate to be reduced by 2% below the reference level. This step would result in a plateau in China's emissions from 2020 to 2030. This paper also proposed a deep de-carbonization pathway for China that is consistent with China's goal of peaking emissions by around 2030, which can best be achieved through a combination of improvements in energy and carbon intensities. Our analysis also indicated that the potential for energy intensity decline will be limited over time. Thus, the peaking will be largely dependent on the share of non-fossil fuel energy in primary energy consumption. © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

Pietzcker R.C.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Longden T.,Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei | Chen W.,Tsinghua University | Fu S.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation | And 3 more authors.
Energy | Year: 2014

Decarbonizing transport will be necessary to limit global warming below 2°C. Due to persistent reliance on fossil fuels, it is posited that transport is more difficult to decarbonize than other sectors. To test this hypothesis, we compare long-term transport energy demand and emission projections for China, USA and the world from five large-scale energy-economy models. We diagnose the model's characteristics by subjecting them to three climate policies. We systematically analyze mitigation levers along the chain of causality from mobility to emissions, finding that some models lack relevant mitigation options. We partially confirm that transport is less reactive to a given carbon tax than the non-transport sectors: in the first half of the century, transport mitigation is delayed by 10-30 years compared to non-transport mitigation. At high carbon prices towards the end of the century, however, the three global models achieve deep transport emission reductions by >90% through the use of advanced vehicle technologies and low-carbon primary energy; especially biomass with CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) plays a crucial role. The extent to which earlier mitigation is possible strongly depends on implemented technologies and model structure. Compared to the global models, the two partial-equilibrium models are less flexible in their reaction to climate policies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

News Article | September 29, 2016

There are many places in China that are “worst-case scenarios” of the Industrial Age and its wastes. It is no wonder that many Chinese citizens are wide awake to solutions. A new survey (by Ipsos) shows that 96% of Chinese urbanites believe “green power” could help. Of course, it will. Renewable energy can turn cities around. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) commissioned the survey. They found that China overwhelmingly wants renewable energy. 3,000 residents of Chinese cities surveyed by Ipsos reveal that ~90% of people in China want to prevent environmental pollution. Business Green aptly describes the problem as “afflicting many of the country’s cities.” It only takes one overly polluted city. One is too much. But China has more that one desperate, “afflicted” situation. Air and water in a crisis state of polluted toxicity are the norms. In many parts of China, one must wear a mask and risk respiratory problems. The good news is that change is possible at this time in China, and it is occurring. An earlier post on CleanTechnica, “The Latest Trends In China’s Continuing Renewable Energy Revolution,” reports that China is working to remedy its many environmental problems. “China has made strategic choices favoring renewable over fossil fuels that are still not widely understood or appreciated,” John A. Mathews wrote. On a related note, China, Japan, Russia, & South Korea are planning a “Super Grid” for renewable energy. Business Green continues with the recent info from the Ipsos survey, noting that there’s “overwhelming support for paying a premium on energy bills to secure cleaner energy sources with 92.6% saying they can accept a price rise when buying green power.” Business Green continues: “Peng Peng, director of policy research at the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, said the survey revealed ‘unprecedented’ levels of support for clean energy.” “Similar surveys carried out in the US and the UK in the last two years found that 50 % and 48 % of US and UK respondents were willing to pay a higher price for renewable energy respectively,” Peng said. “Compared with those overseas, Chinese consumers show stronger willingness to purchase green power, and are ready to pay considerably higher fees for it. However, there are currently no options for consumers in China to select their source of supply.” It’s sad that it takes severe environmental crisis to get numbers such as China is showing. However, other factors at play could be the government’s strong rhetoric and policies focused on environmental improvement. Nonetheless, those are still coming from citizen demands to some degree. “Consumers have the right to ask for a better and cleaner energy supply, and to have their needs met,” said Li Junfeng, Director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation. The new study by CREIA and IPSOS show that Chinese consumers understand the co-benefits of renewable energy. Christine Lins, executive secretary of the global REN21 renewable energy initiative said: “As documented by REN21’s Renewables 2016 Global Status Report, China is market leader in most renewable energy technologies. However, the growth of renewable energy in China, particularly in the PV and wind sectors, is being stunted unnecessarily as a result of the ‘curtailment’ of renewables.” “The survey comes just days after new figures from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) revealed renewable energy accounted for nearly a quarter of China’s power generation last year, predominantly from hydropower. However, the data also confirmed that curtailment and grid connection issues meant 39 billion kilowatt-hours of capacity sat idle last year.” Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Rogelj J.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Rogelj J.,ETH Zurich | Den Elzen M.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | Hohne N.,New Climate Institute | And 10 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2016

The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to "pursue efforts" to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement. The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6-3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved, because the agreement stipulates that targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strengthened over time, both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Xu X.-B.,CAS Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences | Xu X.-B.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Xu X.-B.,Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center | Shi Y.-J.,CAS Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2015

The toxic effects of the ubiquitous pollutant 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) on the earthworm Eisenia fetida were assessed by determining growth-inhibition and gene transcript levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione transferase (GST), and transcriptional changes of the stress-response gene (heat-shock protein 70 [Hsp70]). Somatic growth and growth-inhibition rates in all BDE-47-treated groups were significantly different from those of the controls. The SOD gene transcripts were upregulated at all exposure doses and reached the maximum at the concentration of 400 mg/kg dry weight (dw) (3.84-fold, P < 0.01), which protected earthworms from oxidative stresses. However, downregulation of CAT and Hsp70 was present in all exposure doses and reached to the minimum at concentrations of 400 mg/kg dw (0.07-fold, P < 0.01 and 0.06-fold, P < 0.01, respectively). Upregulation of GST gene transcript level presented significant changes at concentrations of 10 (2.69-fold, P < 0.05) and 100 mg/kg dw (2.55-fold, P < 0.05). SOD maintained a dynamic balance to upregulate SOD expression to eliminate superoxide radicals in all dosage treatments, but downregulation of CAT decreased the ability to eliminate hydrogen peroxide. These changes could result in biochemical and physiological disturbances in earthworms. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York

Chai Q.-M.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation | Chai Q.-M.,Tsinghua University | Xu H.-Q.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation
Advances in Climate Change Research | Year: 2014

China has achieved a political consensus around the need to transform the path of economic growth toward one that lowers carbon intensity and ultimately leads to reductions in carbon emissions, but there remain different views on pathways that could achieve such a transformation. The essential question is whether radical or incremental reforms are required in the coming decades. This study explores relevant pathways in China beyond 2020, particularly modeling the major target choices of carbon emission peaking in China around 2030 as China-US Joint Announcement by an integrated assessment model for climate change IAMC based on carbon factor theory. Here scenarios DGS-2020, LGS2025, LBS-2030 and DBS-2040 derived from the historical pathways of developed countries are developed to access the comprehensive impacts on the economy, energy and climate security for the greener development in China. The findings suggest that the period of 2025-2030 is the window of opportunity to achieve a peak in carbon emissions at a level below 12 Gt CO2 and 8.5 t per capita by reasonable trade-offs from economy growth, annually -0.2% in average and cumulatively -3% deviation to BAU in 2030. The oil and natural gas import dependence will exceed 70% and 45% respectively while the non-fossil energy and electricity share will rise to above 20% and 45%. Meantime, the electrification level in end use sectors will increase substantially and the electricity energy ratio approaching 50%, the labor and capital productivity should be double in improvements and the carbon intensity drop by 65% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level, and the cumulative emission reductions are estimated to be more than 20 Gt CO2 in 2015-2030. © 2015 The Authors.

News Article | November 9, 2016

Just days after the historic Paris agreement officially came into force, climate denier Donald Trump’s victory has thrown the global deal into uncertainty and raised fears that the US will reverse the ambitious environmental course charted under Barack Obama. International environmental groups meeting at the UN climate talks in Morocco said it would be a catastrophe if Trump acted on his pledge to withdraw the US from the deal, which took 20 years to negotiate, and to open up public land for coal, oil and gas extraction. Trump has called climate change a “hoax”, placing him virtually alone among world leaders on the validity of the science. The real estate magnate has promised to embark upon a four-year process of withdrawing the US from the Paris deal and has targeted the “billions and billion and billions” given to UN climate programmes and clean energy development. Domestically, Trump has promised to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling, despite the fact that the growth of natural gas use has caused the downturn in coal. He also plans to scrap Obama’s signature Clean Power plan, which is the main policy designed to lower US emissions. Recent analysis by Lux Research estimated that a Trump presidency would raise US greenhouse gas output by 16% by the end of his second term, should he get one, compared to a Hillary Clinton administration. Such a shift could prove key in not only pushing the world towards dangerous climate change but also dissuading other nations from making the required cuts in emissions. Green groups have urged the president-elect, as the leader of the second greatest greenhouse gas emitter, to act in the interests of all the world. “The new president must protect the people he serves from climate chaos. No personal belief or political affiliation can change the stark truth that every new oil well and pipeline pushes us all closer to catastrophe. The administration has moral and legal obligations to meet international commitments,” said May Boeve, head of climate campaign group Christian Aid warned that any attempts by Trump to ditch the Paris deal would be an act of “economic self-sabotage”. “The global transition to a zero-carbon economy will not be held up by one man. The rest of the world will not risk a global climate catastrophe because of one man’s opposition,” said Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s international climate lead spokesman. In the US, shellshocked environmentalists pledged to step up their opposition to Trump. “Greenpeace and millions of people around the world have all the power we need to combat climate change and create a just world for everyone,” said Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace US. “Let’s use this moment to reenergize the fight for the climate and the fight for human rights around the world.” Ségolène Royale, the French environment minister who helped negotiate the Paris accord, told journalists in Marrakech that the US could not withdraw from the treaty easily. “The Paris agreement prohibits any exit for a period of three years, plus a year-long notice period, so there will be four stable years,” she said. “We must be extremely attentive and responsive to each time there is an attempt made to weaken this agreement,” she said on French radio. “There is no possible turning back in the negotiation on what was agreed in Paris ... we can only advance,” said Salaheddine Mezouar, foreign minister of Morocco, which is hosting the latest round of climate talks. Major countries meeting in Marrakech were slow to respond to Trump’s win but small island states threatened with annihilation if temperatures are not held to 2C urged him to take responsibility for the whole world. “I expect [Trump] will realise that climate change is a threat to his people and to whole countries which share seas with the US including my own ... I look forward to watching Mr Trump live up to his responsibility to protect his people, and others around the world,” said Hilda Heine, president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. “One of the many challenges Trump’s administration will now confront is climate change. Last month, for the first time, renewables like wind and solar surpassed fossil fuels in [new] electricity generation globally and that number is expected to climb. America has led this technological transformation and can continue to create jobs and opportunity in this area,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, energy minister for the Maldives and chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis). Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists was reported to have told a press conference at Marrakech that: “If the US pulls out of this, and is seen as going as a rogue nation on climate change, that will have implications for everything else on President Trump’s agenda when he wants to deal with foreign leaders. And I think he will soon come to understand that.” “The election of President Trump is clearly a major threat to our climate and future wellbeing of generations to come. But thankfully the clean energy revolution is now unstoppable. If Mr Trump chooses to disengage then he will hand the next industrial revolution lock, stock and barrel to the Chinese,” said Friends of the Earth’s chief executive officer, Craig Bennett. US human rights and environment groups urged other countries to hold Trump to account. “The Paris agreement was signed and ratified not by a president, but by the United States itself. As a matter of international law, and as a matter of human survival, the nations of the world can, must, and will hold the United States to its climate commitments,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. Nathaniel Keohane, vice-president at the Environmental Defense Fund, said: “The world won’t wait for the US and neither will the climate. This year the impacts of climate change cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars and put 40 million people in southern Africa alone at risk of hunger. “The next president needs to work with Congress to go further faster to cut emissions and protect the rights of men and women on the front lines of the climate crisis.” Businesses also expressed concerns that a Trump presidency would set back climate change action. “We expect Trump’s policies to put at risk the decarbonisation and clean energy uptake seen during President Obama’s time in office, with potential to slow both the US energy system transition and domestic measures to mitigate climate change,” said analysts at HSBC’s Global Research unit. China earlier this month took the unusual step of criticising Trump’s plans to pull out of Paris. But Zou Ji, deputy director general at China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said: “China’s climate strategy and policy is in accordance with China’s national interest, and is not dependent on the US presidency. “The fundamental incentive is China’s need to drive growth by escalating the economic transition, improving air quality, boosting growth rate by efficiency improvement, and strengthening energy security. After all, it is a matter of innovation of development path.”

PubMed | Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis, University of Cape Town and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature | Year: 2016

The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement. The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6-3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved, because the agreement stipulates that targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strengthened over time, both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Wang C.,CAS Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences | Wang C.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang L.,China Certification and Inspection Group Testing Technology Co. | Liu X.,China Certification and Inspection Group Testing Technology Co. | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

The carbon footprint (CFP) reflects the greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated throughout the life cycle of a human activity or product, and is therefore an important tool for assessing and managing GHG emissions. At the level of an individual product, a carbon-labeling scheme that provides more information for consumers could play an important role in encouraging a shift to low-carbon consumption. China is the largest textile and garment producer and consumer in the world. Studying the carbon footprint of textiles is therefore important domestically, for the management of domestic greenhouse gas emission and, internationally, for the communication of carbon information and relevant trade negotiations. For establishing the product carbon labeling system in China, this paper constructed an operable and comparable CFP assessment method and framework at product level and presents a complete case for pure cotton shirts made in China. Based on investigations of several Chinese textile companies and the observation of every production sub-process, the system boundary and methods of assessing textile product CFP were established. We then estimated Chinese CFP conversion factors for relevant energy sources and materials, and calculated the actual CFP for the life cycle of a pure cotton shirt. The average CFP of a pure cotton shirt produced in China, throughout its life cycle, is estimated as 8.771 kgCO2e. Of this, direct CFP is 0.347 kgCO2e, whereas indirect CFP is much higher, at 8.423 kgCO2e. The industrial production stage accounts for the highest proportion of the CFP, and overall production (including agricultural and industrial production) accounts for more than 90% of the total CFP. Approximately 96% of CFP throughout the product life cycle is indirect CFP, which is embedded in the use of energy and materials in each process. Within the industrial production stage, the transportation and weaving sub-processes account for nearly all the direct CFP (0.347 kgCO2e). Energy consumption, especially of electricity, is the main contributor to the CFP of textile products. These results could facilitate comparison between different products, and for the same products from different producers, In order to reduce the CFP throughout the entire textiles sector. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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