China throws weight behind “strong and binding” global climate deal


In a sign of the growing political support for climate action worldwide, China is calling for a “powerful, ambitious and legally binding deal” to be reached at the summit in Paris. China’s chief climate negotiator gave his country’s position yesterday, saying he hoped the climate summit, which begins on 30 November, would be “monumental” for the fight against climate change. He also said that China is on course to meet its 2015 energy intensity and renewables goals and laid out the country’s plan for reaching its UN climate pledge of cutting carbon intensity by 60-65 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and peaking its carbon emissions by the same year, highlighting renewable energy and energy efficiency measures as key. With China’s coal consumption now slowing, and its recent draft economic plan favouring renewables over coal – not to mention its pledges to commit $3.1 billion in climate finance and launch a national carbon market in 2017 – it is clear that the world’s most populous country is well on board the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy. Just ten days before the UN climate summit kicks off, China’s position will be a welcome boost of momentum to all those calling for a strong and meaningful global deal in Paris.



Key Points

  • Governments still not on board could be leaving it too late. While many countries are welcoming the renewable energy era, some like Australia, Japan and Turkey are still trying to cling onto fossil fuels. The Commonwealth Heads of the State meeting on 27-29 November will be the last chance for world leaders to discuss the draft Paris agreement before the summit begins. Those attending would be wise to use it to show both laggard and leading countries that a future of 100 per cent renewables is on its way.



Tools and Resources

Energy transition

Top Images

Key Quotes

  • “China will ensure that the INDC targets will be accomplished in whatever circumstances. The Chinese government and the Chinese people will abide by our promises.” – Xie Zhenhua,  China’s special representative on climate change
  • “We hope the outcome of the Paris conference can inspire or encourage or demand every country to transform their development approaches and lifestyles. What I mean is that every country wants to have development, but it must be coordinated with dealing with climate change. [The presence of world leaders] will give a political impulse into negotiations. With joint efforts from each state, I believe the conference will succeed and many problems will be resolved at the conference.” – Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change

Related Tree Alerts

More Tweets