China’s leaders are waking up to the threat of climate change and it has set credible climate targets, including a pledge to peak carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030. It has also set a goal of increasing renewables and nuclear from 11.4 per cent in 2014 to 20 per cent of primary energy by 2030, equivalent to 800-1,000 gigawatts in new non-fossil energy, the entire current US generating capacity.
Chronic air pollution
China has been driven primarily by domestic considerations. Cities are choking from chronic air pollution. And policymakers are also concerned about energy security. Renewables and nuclear are seen as a way to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.
While drivers of change are primarily domestic, China’s leaders look to Europe and elsewhere for examples of how to move to a lower carbon trajectory.
One prominent example of lesson-learning from the EU is emissions trading, known as “cap and trade”. China has already set up seven pilot regional emissions trading schemes, and will launch a national scheme in 2017. In designing it policymakers are looking closely at the EU experience.
India is also starting to take climate change more seriously. The Modi government last week announced a commitment to reduce the amount of carbon-dioxide produced per unit of economic output by 33-35 per cent by 2030.
Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/climate-change-robust-eu-engagement-at-paris-crucial-1.2415790