Beijing, China (BBN)-China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – has announced details of its climate action plan.
The office of Premier Li Keqiang said that emissions “will peak by around 2030” and China would work hard to achieve the target even earlier, reports BBC.
The statement echoes China’s declaration last November following a US-China summit.
China’s pledge comes ahead of talks late this year in Paris to seek a new global deal on climate change.
The statement, released following a meeting in Paris between Li and French President Francois Hollande, said China aimed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 per cent by 2030, from 2005 levels.
The carbon intensity target builds on a previous plan to cut carbon intensity by 40-45 per cent by 2020.
China also aimed to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to about 20 per cent by 2030, the statement added.
Beijing previously set a goal of getting around 15 per cent of its energy from clean sources by 2020.
All countries involved in UN climate talks must submit national plans for cutting emissions ahead of the key Paris talks.
China joins several other countries, including the EU, US and Mexico, that have already committed their plans for tackling climate change, formally known by the UN as INDCs (intended nationally determined contribution).
With China’s announcement, the world’s biggest polluters – China, the US and the EU – have now all detailed their climate plans ahead of the global climate conference.
Commenting on the statement, Li Shuo, climate analyst for Greenpeace China, said for success in Paris, all players – including China and the EU – needed to up their game.
“Today’s pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious actions.
“It does not fully reflect the significant energy transition that is already taking place in China.
“Given the dramatic fall in coal consumption, robust renewable energy uptake, and the urgent need to address air pollution, we believe the country can go well beyond what it has proposed today.”
China’s new climate plan sends a strong message to other countries to do more on climate ahead of this year’s negotiations for a new global climate deal, said WWF.
Samantha Smith, global climate leader at WWF, said China was the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target.
“In doing so, China has committed to both global climate security and to a transformational energy transition at home,” she said.
“We emphasise the importance of the fact that China has made commitments beyond its responsibility as a developing country. But we hope that China will continue to find ways to reduce its emissions, which will in turn drive global markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
On Monday, at talks in Brussels with EU leaders, the Chinese Premier said the country was seeking a fair, global system to tackle climate change.
China will work with the international community to seek a “fair, reasonable, win-win” global climate governance system, Li said.