Why China is at the center of our climate strategy
A giant leap forward: Country announces plans for national carbon market
Rarely a week goes by before China’s air pollution crisis is in the news again.
The unprecedented soot and smog levels are triggering a cascade of damaging health and economic effects. They’re also contributing to an equally sinister, yet under-reported problem: climate change.
To avoid a looming national public health crisis and an imminent danger to the world’s climate, China must act soon.
China’s enormous carbon footprint
- 1/2 of the world’s coal supply is burned by China each year.
- Over 20%of the world’s climate pollution originates in China.
A giant leap forward
Fortunately, China is beginning to get serious about climate action. The nation of 1.4 billion—the world’s most populous and No. 1 greenhouse gas emitter—took a giant leap forward in September 2015 when it announced plans to roll out a national carbon market in 2017.
The cap-and-trade market will build on a series of successful pilot projects that EDF helped design, using a proven market-based solution to tackle global warming at a critical time.
EDF’s long history with China
Over the past two decades, EDF Vice President Dan Dudek and his team have helped China establish a variety of market-based incentives to trim emissions, and increase enforcement of environmental laws.
These projects are part of the reason Dudek, an expert on cap-and-trade markets, earned a coveted spot on China’s highest international advisory body on the environment, which reports directly to the Premier every year.
Successes we’ve helped with
- 21%emissions drop that Shenzhen’s carbon market will likely lead to by end of 2015.*
- 28,000environmental officers that will complete training by the end of 2015.
- 1 milliontons of greenhouse gases verifiably reduced via low-carbon farming.
*per unit of GDP
An urgent opportunity
The nation is still rapidly transitioning from rural to urban. In 15 years, about 250 million more people will likely move to cities, and use twice as much energy than in the countryside.
The government has asked for our input on new environmental policies and programs in their next five-year plan. We’re ready to help with many projects, including:
- Launching and linking more carbon markets, including a potential nationwide system
- Expanding renewable energy
- Strengthening environmental enforcement
- Improving environmental regulation of natural gas development
- Trimming energy waste in many sectors
If we seize this moment, we can help shape the outcome.Dan Dudek Vice President, EDF
By welcoming the expertise of EDF, China is proving that it’s ready to tackle climate change.
Your support keeps our staff of experts on the ground in China, working closely with environmental leaders and policy makers to implement smart market incentives to fight air pollution and climate change.
If we get it right, we can help China make a faster shift from coal to clean energy.Dan Dudek Vice President, EDF
EDF expert commentary
- China’s underestimated carbon emissions: What does it mean for climate action?
November 5, 2015
- China carbon market: A game changer years in the making
September 25, 2015
- How I know China is serious about climate action
February 24, 2015
Chart and statistics source: EDF data, and EDF analysis of International Energy Agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration and EPA data