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China’s greenhouse gas emissions likely to peak by 2025, says new study



After years of reckless development that has affected people and the environment, China is now set to go through a phase of ‘normal growth’ and could see greenhouse gas emissions decline within 10 years, according to a new report by the London School of Economics (LSE).

In the paper, economist Lord Nicholas Stern and researcher Fergus Green from the Grantham Research Institute at LSE, said the country’s greenhouse gas emissions will probably peak in 2025, five years earlier than expected, and then start to decline.

This would be the result of new environmental regulations on air quality and reducing coal production, while boosting investment in clean energy – which is allowing China to ‘maturate’ and grow more sustainably.

The study says that this progress will have profound implications for the global economy and would increase chances of staying within the 2C temperature increase – necessary to avoid disasters caused by climate change.

The UN climate change conference in Paris later this year will be more successful if governments everywhere understand the extent of change in China and its implications for global emissions,” the study says.

China’s international commitment should be seen as a conservative upper limit from a government that prefers to under-promise and over-deliver.

“China’s pledge includes a commitment to use ‘best efforts’ to peak before 2030; we are beginning to see the fruits of China’s best efforts.”

China made a decisive move in 2013, when it announced new climate targets to be set by 2016, in order to tackle a series of environmental problems that are severely affecting its population and economy, such as extreme weather events and harmful pollution.

Photo: erhard.renz via flickr


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Further reading:

Lord Stern calls for countries to raise ambition of climate pledges

Will carbon trading save the world?

US and China to co-operate in tackling greenhouse gas emissions

China: economic supremacy at any cost or global environmental leadership

World’s largest CO2 emitter, China, to set climate targets by 2016


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