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Will China achieve its Paris Climate Agreement goals?

Although the United States has announced intentions to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, 194 countries are still part of the agreement, including China, the world's #1 carbon dioxide emitter.

Under the agreement, each country sets its own emission reduction goals. China's goal was to reduce emissions by 60-65% per unit GDP by 2030. This means that the country plans to reduce the emissions intensity, or the ratio of emissions to gross domestic product, a measure that ties emissions goals to economic growth. If achieved, by 2030 China will emit around 13-14 gigatons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases per year, whereas today the country accounts for 10.6 gigatons per year, or 29.5% of the global total. Current projections estimate that China will better than meet its goal, with 2030 emissions around 12-14 gigatons per year.

Analysts say that China's goal is achievable, thanks to a decrease in coal use in the country. But the slowdown in emissions may not be enough to limit global temperature rise to only 2 degrees C.

Other goals of China's by 2030:

  • Peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early;

  • Increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent; and

  • Increasing the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters from the 2005 level.

Currently, China is making good progress toward all of these goals.

Will China achieve its Paris Climate Agreement goals?

This question will resolve as positive if a credible news report cites an analysis independent of the Chinese government confirming that China has met its primary 2030 climate action goals of cutting emissions intensity by at least 60% below 2005 levels on or before January 1, 2030.

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