China has announced how it will meet its target of peaking carbon emissions by 2030, according to a new document published by the country’s cabinet.
China is the world’s biggest polluter by volume – although the US emits more carbon per capita – and many had been hoping for new, more ambitious targets ahead of COP26, which starts in Glasgow in five days.
The new plan does not make any new pledges but does include fresh details, including building more hydropower and nuclear plants, and increasing its wind and solar capacity to 1,200 gigawatts by the end of the decade.
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But some of the language in the policy, published by the State Council, hints at more modest progress. As well as climate goals, it stresses the importance of “energy security & economic development” as bottom lines for planners.
Previously, China had promised fossil fuels will form less than 20% of its energy mix by 2060, and clean energy will account for 20% by 2025.
China’s leader Xi Jinping is reportedly not attending the climate conference.
Like other countries, China has struggled with power shortages recently and has ramped up coal production to meet those challenges.
Reducing emissions from coal is also dealt with in a relatively limited way.
China burns more coal – the fossil fuel with the highest emissions – than the rest of the world combined. The document said that China would “rationally” control the growth of coal consumption until 2025, and then only “gradually” reduce it afterwards.
Analysis by Tom Cheshire, Asia correspondent
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