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  • Originally published on China Daily

    The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will likely be the most significant development in global...

  • As the world turns attention to the UN climate meetings this week, news from China has captured global headlines: From January 2018 to June 2019, the country added 43 gigawatts (GW) of net new coal power capacity to its existing 1,000 GW coal fleet, while the rest of the world collectively reduced coal capacity by 8 GW. During the same period, China installed 85 GW of solar and wind power generation capacity. And from 2005-2018, China reduced its carbon intensity by 45.8% and increased its non-fossil fuels to 14.3% of its total primary energy mix.

    If China is meeting its stated energy targets and has a goal to peak carbon emissions in 2030, is this success?

    Not exactly – it depends on the timeline.

    Even beyond the global urgency of achieving dramatic greenhouse gas emissions reductions, China must also consider if its current pathway is the most economically efficient and sustainable option for its own longer-term development. The continued expansion of coal in the short-term undercuts its aspiration to be an “ecological civilization” and increases the economic costs of China’s energy economy over the coming decades.

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