30 Apr China’s climate action well and truly underway
China has already announced that its Carbon Dioxide emissions will peak by 2030, and they intend the peak to be reached earlier. They also intend to increase the share of energy use that non-fossil fuels contribute to approximately 20% by 2030. The joint agreement between China and the United States sent a signal to the rest of the world that a global climate solution can be achieved. The actions taken by China and its planned further actions can arrest questions as to how seriously they are about climate action.
The actions that China is taking to show leadership in the climate space include the following:
- pricing carbon- the seven city and provincial level carbon trading pilots will be expanded to a national level emissions trading program in 2016.
- coal consumption is expected to peak by 2020 (4.2 billion tons per year), and coal will constitute a maximum of 62% of primary energy use by 2020
- a target of 11.4% of its energy being sourced from non-fossil fuels by this year, and 15% by 2020
- a target of doubling its wind power capacity to 200 Gigawatts by 2020, and increase its solar power capacity to 100 Gigawatts (more than triple) by the same year
- a target of increasing the efficiency of coal-fired power plants, including shutting down many old inefficient factories.
China is clearly showing leadership in the climate space and that they understand the potential risks that climate change poses to their economy. Given that China is a very important trading partner of Australia, it is worth questioning why the Australian Government has not heeded the ground swell of actions and policies adopted by China and a growing number of other nations. These nations have realised that on one hand climate change poses risks to their economy, but on the other, it presents numerous domestic and international opportunities. Why hasn’t Australia?