China issues action plan to help achieve carbon emission peak by 2030

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China will take a raft of measures including reducing waste, promoting renewables and unconventional fuel and reforming electricity network, as part of efforts to help it achieve the carbon reduction goals, according to an action plan released by the State Council on Tuesday.

The country will pursue massive exploitation and development of wind power and solar power and aims to have installed capacity of wind power and solar power of more than 1.2 billion kilowatts by 2030. 

China also aims to increase hydropower capacity by about 40 million kilowatts during the 2021-25 period and again in 2026-30, as well as pushing the construction of hydropower projects in a number of river areas, such as the upper reaches of the Yangtze, Mekong and Yellow rivers.

The country will also make more use of new-generation nuclear technology, including small-scale offshore reactors, according to the document.

During the period, China will curb coal use in many ways. It plans to control the growth of coal consumption in the 14th Five-Year Plan period 2021-25, while gradually reducing coal usage in the five years afterward and new coal power projects will be strictly controlled, it said.

Apart from structural adjustment, the government plans to reach a carbon emissions peak in the energy-intensive steel sector by fostering mergers and acquisitions, which will raise the sector’s concentration level.

It aims to push carbon reforms in the transport sector by having clean-energy vehicles account for about 40 per cent of all transportation vehicles.

Additionally, primary oil refining capacity in China will be capped at 1 billion tonnes per annum by 2025, the document outlined, while petroleum and chemical companies will be encouraged to adjust their feedstock structure by replacing coal with electricity and natural gas.

China will pick 100 cities and counties to carry out trial carbon reforms, and landmark economic zones like the Greater Bay Area should lead the way in this transition, the document said.

The government also stressed that carbon reductions won’t be “campaign like” or implemented rigidly, but should be pursued “in line with reality.”

The document was published just five days before talks get under way in Glasgow to strengthen the global fight against climate change. China is set to announce its updated “nationally determined contributions” before the meeting begins.