By James Noble
July 2, 2015
In order to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, China is detailing plans to spend $6.6 trillion ahead of the United Nations climate negotiations this December in Paris.
While specifics of the Chinese strategy are few, the details of the plan will likely contain targets that were agreed to last November in a bilateral United States – China climate change accord.
Key provisions of that accord include the promise to cap emissions by 2030, with the hope of accomplishing this by an earlier date, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to 20 per cent by 2030.
Central to meeting China’s goals will be the ability to wean itself off of its coal dependency, while developing new energy sources. For the first time ever, coal consumption decreased in China in 2014, evidence that China is serious in meeting its climate commitments.
While this transition comes at a cost, China also recognizes an opportunity as the country will have spent $473.1 billion on clean energy investments from 2011 to 2015 as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan.
Considered by some a climate laggard, Canada has already submitted its new climate action plan in anticipation of the coming Paris climate negotiations.
The most notable commitment is the promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. This goal would put the country – the world’s ninth largest emitter –behind its peers in terms of how fast it aims to reduce emissions.
Canada’s most recent goals contrast with earlier commitments to match the United States’ ambitions in climate mitigation. Canada’s 2030 proposal now puts the country’s targets for climate action behind that of the U.S.