China should set an absolute cap on CO2 emissions from 2016 and encourage some of its regions to peak their carbon output by 2020, a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) official will recommend to the government.
According to the recommendation, the absolute CO2 target should be implemented in China’s thirteenth five-year plan, which enters into force next year, along with targets for carbon intensity, energy intensity, coal consumption and share of non-fossil fuels in the energy mix, China Business News reported.
The recommendation will be submitted to the National People’s Congress later this week.
The paper quoted NPC delegate Wang Yi, who is the policy and management director of the CAS Institute of Science and Technology and a member of the Chinese delegation to UN climate negotiations.
Wang said a number of studies have showed that China’s energy-related CO2 emissions will peak in 2030 at around 11 billion tonnes, and that emissions would be around 10.5 billion tonnes in 2020. He proposed a cap of 10 billion tonnes in 2020.
In regions that need to restrict investments to protect the environment or to eliminate industrial overcapacity, it is necessary to strictly control absolute CO2 emissions, Wang said.
He added that some regions in China could achieve peak emissions by the end of this decade.
China has pledged to cut its carbon intensity to 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2020, and has distributed individual targets to each province.
An additional absolute CO2 cap would guide the allocation of permits when China launches its national carbon market next year.
A senior advisor to the government said last June that China would set an absolute target on emissions from 2016, but later qualified the statement by saying he was speaking in a personal capacity.
Last November, President Xi Jinping in a bilateral agreement with US President Barack Obama pledged to ensure China’s emissions would peak by 2030, but the deal did not specify the amount.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org