Paris Agreement And a Greener World
On September 3, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon attend the deposit of instruments of joining the Paris Agreement in Hangzhou. Xi pledged that China, a responsible developing country and an active player in global climate governance, will implement development concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared growth, advance energy conservation, emission reduction and low-carbon development, and embrace the new era of an ecological civilization.
According to the Paris Agreement, China pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and lift the proportion of non-fossil energy in primary energy consumption to 20 percent by the same date.
In 2012, an authoritative organization estimated that nine stations managed by Hangzhou Public Bicycle Company reduced carbon emissions by 615.55 tons. The company sold its emissions savings for 21,000 yuan on the Beijing Environmental Exchange. Hangzhou Public Bicycle Company became the first of its kind in China to participate in emissions trading (“cap and trade”). After the deal, the company’s trading partner, a company selling healthcare products, could affix on its products a carbon reduction label so they could be sold in overseas markets.
In emissions trading, an entity needing to emit a large amount of carbon can purchase the right to emit more and an entity that
Beijing’s concern and determination to address climate change via market mechanisms.
“A carbon market is a sophisticated system sated with uncertainty from perspectives of legislation and capacity building,” comments Hu Min, director of Low Carbon Program with Energy Foundation China. “Political will from high levels of the government is critical to overcome roadblocks and guarantee market health.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Ehmet Erep was a herder in Halajun County of Artux City of southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who now works in a sheep breeding center where solar panels produce 2.23 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. Rich in sunshine, southern Xinjiang has taken advantage of the resource to develop solar energy that increases local incomes.
Photovoltaic modules transform sunlight into electricity. Since 2013, China’s photovoltaic installed capacity increased by 10 million kilowatts for three years in row. By the end of 2015, the country’s solar capacity had reached 43 million kilowatts, surpassing Germany to become the largest solar energy producer in the world.
The development of solar power is just one piece of China’s energy restructuring. According to the Chinese government, the country will continue to use fossil fuel cleanly and develop non-fossil energy including wind power, solar power, geothermal energy and nuclear power. By 2020, new energy will account for 15 percent of total energy consumption, natural gas will take up 10 percent and coal