China Isn’t Even Close To Meeting Paris Climate Accord Goals

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

China’s goal to run on 15 percent non-fossil fuel based energy by 2020 is not enough for the world leader in greenhouse gas production to meet standards agreed to in the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, Reuters reports.

China needs to overhaul its energy mix evolution and aim to produce 26 percent of its energy through renewables and nuclear plants by 2020 to comply with the Paris pact, according to a joint study by China National Renewable Energy Centre (CNREC) and the Energy Research Institute of Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

“To ensure compliance with the Paris agreement, strong support to renewable energy deployment is needed on both the national and local levels,” CNREC deputy director general Wang Zhongying told Reuters.

The transition is tough, however, due to the country’s strong dependence on coal.

If China is able to revamp its transition from fossil fuel based energy to greener options, the possibility of the Earth warming two degrees Celsius remains likely.

A July study found that the chances of keeping warming under 2 degrees by meeting Paris Agreement objectives is only 5 percent, The Guardian reported at the time.

“I agree that staying below 2C and 1.5C are unlikely and very, very unlikely, respectively,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler, who did not take part in the study, told The Guardian. “But this research gives a false sense of rigor. Tomorrow someone could invent a carbon-free energy source that everyone adopts.”

“More aggressive policies are urgently needed, but this study should not be taken as evidence that nothing can be done,” MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative’s John Sterman said at the time.

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