Hunan in south-central China will limit its 2020 CO2 emissions to around 510 million tonnes, a provincial government plan said, making it one of the first provinces to set an absolute cap on CO2 emissions.
The Hunan Provincial People’s Government Office outlined the target in its low-carbon implementation plan for 2016-2020, though did not specify how the 2020 cap compared to current emission levels.
It plans to have installed non-fossil fuel electricity generating capacity of 9,800 MWh by 2020, taking non-fossils’ share of energy consumption to 15.6%, higher than the 15% national target.
Officials pledged to finalise work on a carbon emissions trading system this year as part of preparations to join the national ETS when it launches in 2017.
The central government will distribute carbon intensity targets to all provinces and regions for the 2016-2020 period.
There will be a de-facto absolute cap for CO2 emissions covered by the national ETS set by the national government – around half of China’s emissions – but it remains unclear whether provinces will set absolute goals for themselves based on the intensity targets.
Hunan’s strategy to meet its target will include introducing advanced climate finance tools, boosting international co-operation and positioning itself as a low-carbon technology hub, the plan said, though specifics were lacking.
It will develop strategies to green its transport system and introduce a low-carbon building programme, while increasing forest coverage by over 3 million hectares.
The provincial government pledged to earmark an annual budget to support the low-carbon drive, but also plans to construct a green investment and financing mechanism, the five-year plan said.
Hunan is home to nearly 70 million people, and has a GDP of around $450 billion. It is one of China’s largest agricultural regions, but is also a centre for steel, machinery and electronics production.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org