Paris Agree­ment And a Greener World

China Pictorial (English) - - Features - Text by Zi Mei Na­tional Emis­sions Trad­ing Mar­ket

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.”

En­ergy Re­struc­tur­ing

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

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