China Likely to Achieve Peak Carbon Emission Targets
Carbon EmissionSCMP

China Likely to Achieve Peak Carbon Emission Targets

South China Morning Post reported that Chinese energy experts are optimistic the China will reach peak carbon emissions by 2025, five years ahead of the

South China Morning Post reported that Chinese energy experts are optimistic the China will reach peak carbon emissions by 2025, five years ahead of the carbon neutrality by 2060 with its emissions peaking before 2030 target pledged by President Mr Xi Jinping to the UN General Assembly in September 2020. Non governmental research group Energy Foundation China President Mr Zou Ji said that the probability of reaching peak emissions nationwide by 2025 is high. He said “We have conducted a thorough analysis of the provincial data from 2010 to 2018 and we found 13 provinces and municipalities, which account for 43% of China’s emissions, have reached peak emissions. Another 10 provinces and municipalities, or about 37% of the total emissions, will hit peak emissions by 2025. With provinces and cities that contribute around 80% of China’s emissions having peaked or expected to peak before 2025, there is a high probability China will achieve peak emissions by 2025 nationwide.”

Mr Zou said “Peak emissions have been achieved in some cities and provinces in eastern China including Beijing, Shanghai, the port city of Tianjin, and Jiangsu province. He added that these areas all had high-income levels, better industrial structures and a robust service sector. North-eastern provinces, such as Heilongjiang and Jilin, had also achieved peak emissions, but this was largely because of the economic recession. Provinces with good renewable sources which have adjusted their energy structure make up another group, such as Qinghai.”

There is almost consensus among energy experts that the power sector, which accounts for about 40% of the country’s total carbon emissions, could hit peak emissions by 2025. This can be achieved by increasing the share of renewables, adjusting the power grid and developing energy storage devices. Institute of Clean Energy at Peking University researcher Mr Yang Fuqiang said that China’s energy sectors are also on track. He said “China’s coal consumption had not increased since 2013. The share of coal in the energy mix would be reduced to 48% by about 2025, about 9% drop compared with 2020. China’s crude oil consumption would reach a peak of 730 million tonnes by 2025, while natural gas consumption would continue to increase and peak by 2030, although the increase in emissions from natural gas would be lower than the reduction from coal and oil. If the two main fossil fuels can achieve peak emissions by 2025, I think China has a high probability to hit peak emissions by 2025.”

According to the steel industry’s draft peak emissions action plan which is under review, steel sector, which accounts for 15% of China’s total carbon emissions, is expected to hit peak emissions before 2025 and achieve an emissions cut of 30 per cent from peak by 2030. Beijing-based China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute Chief Engineer Mr Li Xinchuang, of, which helped to draft the action plan, said the trend is towards development of mini steel mills which usually use an electric arc furnace to produce steel from recycled scrap. He said “China’s electric arc furnace steelmaking capacity only accounts for 10.4% of total capacity, in stark comparison to the 70% in the United States and 30% of the world’s average level.”

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