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China decarbonizes for greener growth

Updated: Jun 27,2016 10:24 AM     Xinhua

TIANJIN — The Chinese economy is decarbonizing fast as it has made building a clean, low carbon energy system a priority for the upcoming five years.

“This indicates China’s strong determination to transform its energy system into a low carbon one, with an aim to fulfill its international responsibility,” said Li Zheng, head of the Department of Thermal Engineering under Tsinghua University, on June 26 at a meeting of World Economic Forum in north China’s coastal city Tianjin.

China aims for an 18 percent cut in carbon intensity in five years from 2015 levels.

According to Li, energy production and use account for two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and he believed that a low-carbon energy system is key to tackling climate change.

China, the world’s second largest economy, is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitter. The country began to pilot in 2013 carbon emissions trading in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong, Tianjin, Hubei and Chongqing.

In 2014, China said it aimed for a 40 to 45 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 compared to 2005 levels. Moreover, the country also announced plans to end carbon dioxide growth by 2030.

“China’s carbon emission has already declined by about 37 percent from 2005 levels, which is quite an accomplishment for a developing country,” said Zhang Xiliang, director of Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy with Tsinghua University.

China will continue to press for environmental protection as it has made it one of the priorities for the country’s future development. Li said that decarbonizing may give a new chance for eco-friendly growth.

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