China sees big drop in carbon emissions

China’s carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years as the nation furthers structural readjustment to improve growth quality, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.

The country’s carbon intensity was cut by about 5 per cent in the first half of the year, the largest drop in many years, the premier said in an address to the Summer Davos forum, also known as the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2014, being held in the port city of Tianjin in north China.

Meanwhile, energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product dropped 4.2 per cent year on year during the period, the premier said.

“In the first half of the year, the growth of investment and production of industries with high energy consumption and emissions noticeably slowed down,” Li said.

Through reform and innovation, the country has moved to reduce overcapacity and foster new growth areas. China has been promoting business mergers and reorganization while redoubling efforts to conserve energy and cut emissions, Li said.

China has consumed less coal, electricity and oil and eased pressures on transport capacity in achieving the same GDP growth, he said.

Tackling climate change is not only China’s binding international obligation as a major responsible country, but also a pressing need for the country’s own development.

“There is no turning back in China’s commitment to a sound eco-system. We have declared war on pollution and earnestly fulfilled international responsibilities,” he said.

The country is studying action targets on greenhouse gas emissions control, including the peak of CO2 emission, carbon emission intensity reduction and increases in the share of non-fossil energy by 2030 and beyond.

Li said China is both resolved and capable in pursuing green, circular and low-carbon development. The country will keep focusing on scientific and technological innovation, step up environmental management, and boost the development of energy conservation and environment protection sectors.

Meanwhile, China will also work with other countries to tackle global climate change, he said.

The Chinese government has pledged a 40 per cent to 45 per cent reduction of carbon dioxide intensity by 2020 from the levels in 2005 and is committed to making every effort to achieve the target.

Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP had dropped 28.56 per cent by 2013 from the levels of 2005, or a reduction of 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s key economic planning body.

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