China’s Carbon Reduction Plan Could Temper Climate Change
Forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others suggest that China could reduce its carbon emissions faster than expected. This is thanks to China’s continued policy of expanding investments in renewable energy over the past few years.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on the 10th (local time), the IEA and the Finnish non-governmental organization Energy and Clean Air Research Center predicted that China’s carbon emissions could peak as early as this year amid massive investments in the renewable energy sector.
According to the Chinese government, China installed solar power facilities with a capacity of 217 GW (gigawatts) last year. The number of solar panels exceeded 500 million, an increase of 55% from the previous year. Additionally, the Chinese government installed more than 20,000 wind turbines nationwide last year, adding wind energy farms with a capacity of 76 GW.
As a result, the IEA and others predict that China’s fossil fuel power generation will decrease over the next few years. Industry insiders indicate that if China brings the “peak period” of carbon emissions earlier like this and starts to reduce emissions over the next decade, it could reduce the global temperature rise by 0.3 to 0.4 degrees Celsius.
However, the peak period may be adjusted depending on the economic and climate impacts. Currently, China is facing a slowdown due to a slump in the real estate market, and there is a possibility that China may use economic measures that increase carbon emissions in the industrial sector. Also, if hydroelectric power generation does not meet expectations due to the summer drought, fossil fuel power generation may be increased to compensate.
Experts believe that the reduction in carbon emissions will not be significantly delayed, considering that the renewable energy business is a major economic driver in China. Last year, China’s clean energy-related expenditure increased by 40% from the previous year, recording $890 billion.