Doubts over costs and China’s targets at COP21

Posted: December 1, 2015 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Energy, Politics
Tags: ,

Coal-hungry China [image credit:]

Coal-hungry China [image credit:]

The trick for many countries at COP 21 is to talk a good game without committing to too much financial pain. Also China is building coal-fired power stations at a record rate even while world leaders are indulging in a big moan about CO₂ levels. Your Oil & Gas News questions whether China’s climate claims can be taken seriously.

The United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), running in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015, will see China come under particular scrutiny, as the country is likely to propose CO₂ emissions reduction targets that others view as unrealistic, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that China currently stands first in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions, and as a result will play a key role in the outcome of COP21, which will discuss a climate change agreement to limit global temperature rises by 2100.

On 30 June 2015, China put forward its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which aims to attain peak CO₂ emissions by or before 2030. The country also wishes to achieve a CO₂ emission reduction per unit of GDP by 60%-65% and to build up its volume of forest stock by around 4.5 billion cubic meters by 2030.

Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power, says: “China’s pledges are clearly positive, and it is notable that China is the first developing country to bind to a carbon peak through a cap-and-trade approach to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which will act as a stimulus to other developing countries.

“However, despite the INDC commitments China has put forward, there are still doubts about its fossil fuel phase-out scenario. The aim of attaining peak emissions by or before 2030 is also questionable, given the number of newly built coal-fired power plants in China in the past 15 years.”

Overall, GlobalData’s report concludes that the world is taking seriously the need to assuage the effects of climate change.Mathur continues: “Several countries have made positive pledges, from the UK government’s aim to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2025, to the US’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce CO₂ emissions by 32% by 2030.

“Despite this, COP21’s biggest obstacle will likely be reaching a committed and legally binding agreement to tackle climate imbalance that works for all countries, particularly considering the financial costs of implementing environmentally-friendly policies.” [bold added]

Source: Your Oil & Gas News | China will face most scrutiny at COP21 thanks to ambitious emissions targets, says GlobalData

It’s funny hearing world leaders make grandiose statements about spending, most of which could only happen – if at all – after they themselves have left office. They speak on the assumption that they know what the future climate is AND that they can do something about it – neither of which is likely to be true.

  1. ivan says:

    It’s funny hearing world leaders make grandiose statements about spending, most of which could only happen – if at all

    Actually it isn’t funny because it is our money they are tossing out to fund dictators life styles produce proven non workable ‘solutions’.

    They obviously know that renewable solutions – unless nuclear – will never provide reliable continuous base load power so everything they say must be either/and an ego trip or filling their, and their friends, pockets.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Perhaps, but a lot of this ‘money’ is hard to find, according to India at least – see latest post.

    ‘Even though rich nations like the United States, UK and the European nations are responsible for causing global warming, they have committed to do almost nothing about solving the problem.’

    Ignoring the dubious claim about warming, there seems to be a lot more talk than dollars when you look at it closely.

  3. Paul Vaughan says:

    Guarantee: In the long run China will be there to catch whatever the west is angling for (with all this climate deception) when the west slips.

  4. oldbrew says:

    ‘China will talk a good game at the UN Climate Conference in Paris but won’t make any binding commitments, concludes The Truth About China, an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.’

  5. ivan says:

    The thing that our complacent soft politicians and environmentalists don’t realise is that China is laughing all the way to the bank.

    While the western governments, aided by the green blob, shut down all industry in their countries the Chinese take up the challenge and build the items we can’t. The upshot of this is that the west loses industrial capability and gains workers with no hope of finding jobs while the Chinese ramp up production and take the money the now non existent western industries would be earning. As I say, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

  6. China’s 2030 emissions will depend on how much economic growth there has been by then. But at current rates of 8%, their pledge implies a doubling of emissions.

    My view is that growth will slow down. But the INDCs are not, at the moment, binding. I have little doubt that if growth is disappointing, the INDC will simply be changed.

    After all, is the Chinese Premier in 15 yrs time really going to tell his party that they must forget about future growth just because Xi promised something in 2015?