China to Meet Carbon Goals as Total Emissions Rise, Report Says

A new report shows that despite economic growth, China is fulfilling its Cancun pledge to reduce  greenhouse-gas emissions in the near-term. From Bloomberg News:

China is meeting a pledge to lower its greenhouse-gas emissions relative to its economic growth even as total pollution rises faster than forecast, according to a report from climate researchers.

The world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitter is reducing the the amount of carbon dioxide generated per unit of economic growth, according to a report today from Utrecht, Netherlands- based Ecofys, a renewable energy consultant. China, the world’s third-largest economy, pledged last year to lower its so-called carbon intensity 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

However, scientists caution that in the long-term, China’s economic expansion will push carbon emissions to levels higher than predicted by 2020. From Reuters:

“China is set to not only meet its Cancun Agreement emissions intensity pledge, but is likely to go beyond it,” the independent research group said, referring to the December 2010 global climate change accord.

“However, at the same time, largely due to faster than expected economic growth, emissions in 2020 are likely to be higher than previous estimates.”

The study underscores the uncertain value of global pledges to reduce meant to meet the international goal of no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature rise over pre-industrial levels which most scientists agree is required to avoid potentially catastrophic climate events.

“We’re heading toward a warming of well over three degrees at present unless there are major improvements in the pledges,” said Bill Hare, the director of Climate Analytics, a research group based in Germany that took part in the study.

China’s concrete steps to curb carbon emissions go further than the pledges made by other big polluter nations such as the United States, the world’s second-largest CO2 emitter, said Hare.



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