Greenhouse-cuts bill 'could reach 41 trillion yuan'

China’s post-2020 climate action plan will be “quite ambitious” and may involve estimated investment of more than 41 trillion yuan ($6.6 trillion) by 2030, according to a lead climate negotiator.

The action plan is to be announced by the end of this month.

The country’s intended nationally determined contribution will differ from those of other countries because it will announce a series of objectives in addressing climate change up to 2030, Xie Zhenhua said.

Xie, the special representative for climate change affairs, was taking part in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue forum in Washington DC.

“Not only will we have objectives in our intended nationally determined contribution, we will also cover a lot of policy issues and projects to reach these objectives.

“I believe that after China’s announcement of its INDC, you will see that our objectives are quite ambitious,” Xie said at a media briefing on Tuesday. He also said it is likely to cost the country more than 41 trillion yuan to meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals.

An official at the National Development and Reform Commission, who did not want to be named, said, “The 41 trillion yuan is a rough estimate from experts.

“The figure largely refers to investment in promoting energy conservation and efficiency in industry, transportation and construction as well as investment in nuclear and renewable energy by 2030,” the official said.

In a joint announcement by President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart Barack Obama in November, China set targets for carbon dioxide emissions to peak around 2030 and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to about 20 percent by that year.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the two countries have been working “extremely effectively together” since their joint announcement on combating climate change - presenting both with great economic opportunities.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice-Premier Wang Yang took part in the discussion.

Yang said the announcement “not only promoted our cooperation in tackling climate change, but also our cooperation on green and low-carbon economic growth”.

China will continue to save energy and raise efficiency, increase forest carbon stocks, cut carbon intensity, and focus on efforts to promote a green economy, he said.

Wang said China’s core action in tackling climate change from an economic perspective is to “shift its growth model”, adding, “We must change our philosophy of ‘pollution first and solution later’.”

The environmental industry’s output in China has grown by 50 percent year-on-year, generating more than $700 billion. More than 750,000 new-energy vehicles were sold last year, three times the number in 2013, providing growth opportunities for many companies.

Private sector joins climate-change fight

China and the United States are fostering cooperation on climate change by enlisting more engagement with the private sector.

On Monday evening, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua and US Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern and other officials witnessed the signing of agreements by Chinese and US private sector partners on carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS).

Xie, Stern and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz praised the historic agreement reached by President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama in Beijing last November, committing the two largest greenhouse producers to carbon reduction after 2020. China has agreed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030.

China-US co-op on climate ‘very successful’

Cooperation on climate change between China and the United States is “very successful” and could set an example for South-North cooperation in this field, Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change affairs, said here Monday.

Xie made the remarks on the eve of the seventh China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a platform for the two countries to address bilateral, regional and global challenges and opportunities.

China and the United States have engaged in policy dialogue on climate change for more than seven years and reached consensus on the science of climate change, Xie told an event celebrating private-sector engagement in advancing the China-US Climate Change Working Group, which was initiated in 2013.

Xie noted that the Chinese government has attached great importance to the issue of climate change. For example, if China is to achieve its target of capping greenhouse gas emissions around 2030, it’s estimated a total investment of 41 trillion renminbi yuan (about 6.72 trillion US dollars) is needed to improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy.

The world must work together to ensure the success of the Paris climate talks, scheduled for December this year, by reaching a multilateral deal that is acceptable to all parties, the veteran climate negotiator said.

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