Assessing China’s Carbon Intensity Pledge for 2020: Stringency and Credibility Issues and their Implications
AbstractJust prior to the Copenhagen climate summit, China pledged to cut its carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020 relative to its 2005 levels to help to reach an international climate change agreement at Copenhagen or beyond. This raises the issue of whether such a pledge is ambitious or just represents business as usual. To put China’s climate pledge into perspective, this paper examines whether this proposed carbon intensity goal for 2020 is as challenging as the energy-saving goals set in the current 11th five-year economic blueprint, to what extent it drives China’s emissions below its projected baseline levels, and whether China will fulfill its part of a coordinated global commitment to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere at the desirable level. Given that China’s pledge is in the form of carbon intensity, the paper shows that GDP figures are even more crucial to the impacts on the energy or carbon intensity than are energy consumption and emissions data by examining the revisions of China’s GDP figures and energy consumption in recent years. Moreover, the paper emphasizes that China’s proposed carbon intensity target not only needs to be seen as ambitious, but more importantly it needs to be credible. Finally, it is concluded with a suggestion that international climate change negotiations need to focus on 2030 as the targeted date to cap the greenhouse gas emissions of the world’s two largest emitters in a legally binding global agreement.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.158.
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Carbon Intensity; Post-Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations; Climate Commitments; China;
Other versions of this item:
- ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Assessing China’s carbon intensity pledge for 2020: stringency and credibility issues and their implications," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 13(3), pages 219-235, September.
- ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "Assessing China's Carbon Intensity Pledge for 2020: Stringency and Credibility Issues and Their Implications," Economics Study Area Working Papers 113, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
- Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
- Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-02-12 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2011-02-12 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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"China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy,"
2010.76, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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- Wei Jin, 2012. "Can Technological Innovation Help China Take on Its Climate Responsibility? A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," CAMA Working Papers 2012-51, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
- ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Why Are the Stakes So High? Misconceptions and Misunderstandings in China’s Global Quest for Energy Security," Working Papers 2012.48, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Breaking the Impasse in International Climate Negotiations: A New Direction for Currently Flawed Negotiations and a Roadmap for China to 2050," Working Papers 2011.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2011. "China's energy security, the Malacca dilemma and responses," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7612-7615.
- ZhongXiang Zhang, 2013. "Energy and Environmental Issues and Policy in China," Working Papers 2013.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Can Wang & Jie Lin & Wenjia Cai & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Policies and Practices of Low Carbon City Development in China," Working Papers 2014.09, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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