Chinese Academy of Engineering recommeds CO2 peak by 2030
China is the world's largest GHG emitter thanks primarily to it high level of dependence on coal, which accounts for about 80 percent of the country's generating capacity. In its latest Five Year Plan the Chinese government is aiming to cut carbon produced per unit of GDP by 17 percent by the end of 2015.
Thus far, however, China has stridently rejected a cap on total emissions, saying it is unfair on developing nations that have much lower emissions per capita than developed economies. Nor has come out with a projection of when and what level its GHG emissions could peak.
The new study from the Chinese Academy of Engineering - an institution of the State Council of China - and other recent reports and comments, however, indicate a growing number of experts and officials believe the country will have to set more aggressive targets for clean energy production and GHG emissions or risk pushing resource use and emissions beyond tolerable limits.
The four-volume study, Chinese Energy in the Long and Medium-Term (2030, 2050), says China should aim for a peak in greenhouse gas output at about 9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by about 2030 - around 38 per cent above 2007 levels - and it may also soon have to fix a cap on future emissions levels.
"We must consider achieving zero growth in total carbon emissions from about 2030, and must seriously make the necessary technological and economic preparations for achieving an absolute fall in carbon emissions after 2030," says the study, which drew on the help of about 250 Chinese experts.
Another new study from the Chinese Academy of Sciences forecasts China's net carbon dioxide emissions could peak in 2035 at about 11.4 billion tonnes of CO2 a year.