China reached its 2020 goal for carbon emissions last year, the country’s top climate change official claims.
Xie Zhenhua, speaking at a Green Carbom Summit over the weekend in Shanghai, said China reduced carbon emissions as a unit of gross domestic product by 46 percent compared to 2005 levels, a report from the state-run Xinhua New Agency said.
The goal had been to see a reduction of at least 40 percent by 2020.
China’s year-over-year carbon intensity reduction was 5.1 percent, Xie said. The declines have come despite growth in the economy, officials noted.
Under the Paris Climate Agreement, China will need to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level, Xinhua said.
Xie, China’s special representative on climate change, credited a carbon emissions program initiated in 2011 that assigns emissions quotas to carbon-emitting companies, but allows companies that produce excessive amounts of carbon to buy quota space on a market from those that emit less pollution. The program is in place in certain areas of the country, but is intended to be expanded nationwide.