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2014 Vol.5 Issue.4, Published 2014-12-30

Policy Forum
Impacts of Climate Change
Special topic on China’s carbon emissions peaking
 
Special topic on China’s carbon emissions peaking
153 China's target for peaking CO2 emissions
HE Jian-Kun
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 153-154 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 347KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
155 An analysis of China's CO2 emission peaking target and pathways
HE Jian-Kun
China has set the goal for its CO2 emissions to peak around 2030, which is not only a strategic decision coordinating domestic sustainable development and global climate change mitigation but also an overarching target and a key point of action for China's resource conservation, environmental protection, shift in economic development patterns, and CO2 emission reduction to avoid climate change. The development stage where China maps out the CO2 emission peak target is earlier than that of the developed countries. It is a necessity that the non-fossil energy supplies be able to meet all the increased energy demand for achieving CO2 emission peaking. Given that China's potential GDP annual increasing rate will be more than 4%, and China's total energy demand will continue to increase by approximately 1.0%e1.5% annually around 2030, new and renewable energies will need to increase by 6%e8% annually to meet the desired CO2 emission peak. The share of new and renewable energies in China's total primary energy supply will be approximately 20% by 2030. At that time, the energy consumption elasticity will decrease to around 0.3, and the annual decrease in the rate of CO2 intensity will also be higher than 4% to ensure the sustained growth of GDP. To achieve the CO2 emission peaking target and substantially promote the low-carbon development transformation, China needs to actively promote an energy production and consumption revolution, the innovation of advanced energy technologies, the reform of the energy regulatory system and pricing mechanism, and especially the construction of a national carbon emission cap and trade system.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 155-161 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 379KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
162 The economic impact of emission peaking control policies and China's sustainable development
WANG Yi, ZOU Le-Le
To achieve the goals of national sustainable development, the peaking control of CO2 emissions is pivotal, as well as other pollutants. In this paper, we build a Chinese inter-regional CGE model and simulate 13 policies and their combinations. By analyzing the energy consumptions, coal consumptions, relating emissions and their impacts on GDP, we found that with the structure adjustment policy, the proportion of coal in primary fossil fuels in 2030 will decrease from 53% to 48% and CO2 emissions will decrease by 11.3%-22.8% compared to the baseline scenario. With the energy intensity reduction policy, CO2 emissions will decrease by 33.3% in 2030 and 47.8% in 2050 than baseline scenario. Other pollutants will also be controlled as synergetic effects. In this study we also find that although the earlier the peaking time the better for emission amounts control, the economic costs can not be ignored. The GDP will decrease by 2.96%-8.23% under different scenarios. Therefore, integrated policy solutions are needed for realizing the peaks package and more targeted measures are required to achieve the peaks of other pollutants earlier.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 162-168 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 482KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
169 Modeling an emissions peak in China around 2030: Synergies or trade-offs between economy, energy and climate security
CHAI Qi-Min, XU Hua-Qing
China has achieved a political consensus around the need to transform the path of economic growth toward one that lowers carbon intensity and ultimately leads to reductions in carbon emissions, but there remain different views on pathways that could achieve such a transformation. The essential question is whether radical or incremental reforms are required in the coming decades. This study explores relevant pathways in China beyond 2020, particularly modeling the major target choices of carbon emission peaking in China around 2030 as China-US Joint Announcement by an integrated assessment model for climate change IAMC based on carbon factor theory. Here scenarios DGS-2020, LGS2025, LBS-2030 and DBS-2040 derived from the historical pathways of developed countries are developed to access the comprehensive impacts on the economy, energy and climate security for the greener development in China. The findings suggest that the period of 2025-2030 is the window of opportunity to achieve a peak in carbon emissions at a level below 12 Gt CO2 and 8.5 t per capita by reasonable trade-offs from economy growth, annually 0.2% in average and cumulatively 3% deviation to BAU in 2030. The oil and natural gas import dependence will exceed 70% and 45% respectively while the non-fossil energy and electricity share will rise to above 20% and 45%. Meantime, the electrification level in end use sectors will increase substantially and the electricity energy ratio approaching 50%, the labor and capital productivity should be double in improvements and the carbon intensity drop by 65% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level, and the cumulative emission reductions are estimated to be more than 20 Gt CO2 in 2015-2030.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 169-180 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 8691KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
181 Estimate of China's energy carbon emissions peak and analysis on electric power carbon emissions
WANG Zhi-Xuan, ZHANG Jing-Jie, PAN Li, YANG Fan, SHI Li-Na
China's energy carbon emissions are projected to peak in 2030 with approximately 110% of its 2020 level under the following conditions: 1) China's gross primary energy consumption is 5 Gtce in 2020 and 6 Gtce in 2030; 2) coal's share of the energy consumption is 61% in 2020 and 55% in 2030; 3) non-fossil energy's share increases from 15% in 2020 to 20% in 2030; 4) through 2030, China's GDP grows at an average annual rate of 6%; 5) the annual energy consumption elasticity coefficient is 0.30 in average; and 6) the annual growth rate of energy consumption steadily reduces to within 1%. China's electricity generating capacity would be 1,990 GW, with 8,600 TW h of power generation output in 2020. Of that output 66% would be from coal, 5% from gas, and 29% from non-fossil energy. By 2030, electricity generating capacity would reach 3,170 GW with 11,900 TW h of power generation output. Of that output, 56% would be from coal, 6% from gas, and 37% from non-fossil energy. From 2020 to 2030, CO2 emissions from electric power would relatively fall by 0.2 Gt due to lower coal consumption, and relatively fall by nearly 0.3 Gt with the installation of more coal-fired cogeneration units. During 2020-2030, the portion of carbon emissions from electric power in China's energy consumption is projected to increase by 3.4 percentage points. Although the carbon emissions from electric power would keep increasing to 118% of the 2020 level in 2030, the electric power industry would continue to play a decisive role in achieving the goal of increase in non-fossil energy use. This study proposes countermeasures and recommendations to control carbon emissions peak, including energy system optimization, green-coal-fired electricity generation, and demand side management.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 181-188 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 2852KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
Impacts of Climate Change
189 Simulation of global ocean acidification and chemical habitats of shallow- and cold-water coral reefs
ZHENG Mei-Di, CAO Long
Using the UVic Earth System Model, this study simulated the change of seawater chemistry and analyzed the chemical habitat surrounding shallow- and cold-water coral reefs from the year 1800 to 2300 employing RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5 scenarios. The model results showed that the global ocean will continue to absorb atmospheric CO2. Global mean surface ocean temperature will rise 1.1-2.8 K at the end of the 21st century across RCP scenarios. Meanwhile, the global mean surface ocean pH will drop 0.14-0.42 and the ocean surface mean concentration of carbonate will decrease 20%-51% across the RCP scenarios. The saturated state of sea water with respect to calcite carbonate minerals (U) will decrease rapidly. During the pre-industrial period, 99% of the shallow-water coral reefs were surrounded by seawater with U > 3.5 and 87% of the deep-sea coral reefs were surrounded by seawater with aragonite supersaturation. Within the 21st century, except for the high mitigation scenario of RCP2.6, almost none shallow-water coral reefs will be surrounded by seawater with U > 3.5. Under the intensive emission scenario of RCP8.5, by the year 2100, the aragonite saturation horizon will rise to 308 m under the sea surface from 1138 m at the preindustrial period, thus 73% of the cold-water coral reefs will be surrounded by seawater with aragonite undersaturation. By the year 2300, only 5% of the cold-water coral reefs will be surrounded by seawater with aragonite supersaturation.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 189-196 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 5042KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
197 Spatio-temporal changes of exposure and vulnerability to floods in China
WANG Yan-Jun, GAO Chao, ZHAI Jian-Qing, LI Xiu-Cang, SU Bu-da, HARTMANN Heike
A socio-economic data set on China's historical flood losses for the period 1984-2012 was compiled to analyze the exposed population, economy, and crop area as well as the vulnerabilities of the population and economy to floods. The results revealed that the exposed population was approximately 126 persons km-2 per year when taking China as a whole; in terms of the economy, potential losses due to floods were estimated to be approximately 1.49 million CN¥ km-2 and the crop area exposed to floods covered 153 million hm2 per year. China's total exposure to floods significantly increased over the analysis period. The areas that showed the higher exposure were mainly located along the east coast. The population's vulnerability to floods showed a significantly increasing trend, however, the economic vulnerability showed a decreasing trend. The populations and economies that were most vulnerable to floods were in Hunan, Anhui, Chongqing, Jiangxi, and Hubei provinces. The municipalities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin showed the lowest vulnerabilities to floods.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 197-205 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 5842KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
Policy Forum
206 Addressing the trade-climate change-energy nexus: China's explorations in a global governance landscape
Joachim MONKELBAAN
We have arrived at a critical juncture when it comes to understanding the numerous ways in which trade interacts with climate change and energy (trade-climate-energy nexus). Trade remains crucial for the sustainable development of the world's greatest trading nation: China. After clarifying the linkages within the trade, climate change and energy nexus, this article delves into China's specific needs and interests related to trade, climate change and energy. Then it explores the ways in which trade can contribute to China's needs, to sustainable energy development and to the goals of the global climate agreement that is under negotiation. One main findings are China is a key participant in negotiations on trade liberalization of environmental technologies and services. These negotiations are in China's interests in terms of innovative industries, technological upgrading, employment and public health. China could stand up for the interests of other emerging and developing countries and serve as an example in terms of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Beyond trade barriers issues of domestic (energy) regulation such as fossil-fuel subsidies as well as investment, competition-policy, tradefacilitation and transit issues related to clean energy need to be addressed. Building trust between relevant actors across sectors and national borders will be of the essence in order to foster long-term cooperation on technological innovation. As a way forward, different approaches towards the governance of trade and climate change will be highlighted. Besides discussing the specific aspects of Chinese participation in global trade and climate change governance, this paper aims at offering broader insights into the nexus between trade, energy and climate governance in China.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 206-218 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 2459KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
219 Assessment of achievements of the Lima Climate Change Conference and perspectives on the future
?Lü Xue-Du
The Lima call for climate action adopted at the Lima Climate Conference on Climate Change specifies that the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, shall apply to the new climate agreement to be adopted at the Paris Conference on Climate Change in 2015. Decisions on other heavily debated items, including the intended nationally determined contributions, were also made at the Lima Conference. The significant achievements in Lima and the positive momentum have laid a solid foundation for the adoption of a new climate agreement in the Paris Climate Conference. Four measures are proposed for China to meet great challenges in addressing climate change beyond 2020, including early formulation and issuance of a climate change law, establishment of a greenhouse gas emission trading scheme, promotion of advanced climate technology investments, and further international engagement for climate change.
2014 Vol. 5 (4): 219-223 [Abstract] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] ) [HTML 1KB] [ PDF 359KB] ( [an error occurred while processing this directive] )
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