Climate Cooperation China
On behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)

2023 Government Work Report and National Economic, Social Development Plan

The 2023 Report on The Work of the Government (hereinafter called the 2023 report) and the 2023 Draft Plan for National Economic and Social Development (hereinafter called the 2023 plan) were released on 5 March during China’s 14th National People’s Congress. The 2023 report was presented at China’s annual parliamentary meetings The 2023 report revealed the government’s 2022 performance indicators in economic, societal and workforce development and work priorities in 2023. The 2023 draft plan is also released annually, detailing the government’s important implementation areas in 2023. Among the 2023 work priorities stated in the 2023 report and plan, facilitating the green transition and fulfilling the carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals continue to be stressed.

According to the 2023 report, some measures are set out to support the green transition in 2023. Among others, a new energy system with an increased share of renewable energy is expected through more clean technology research and development (R&D). Moreover, further improvement of financial tools for green transition is expected.

As for the 2023 plan, it acknowledges the importance of ecological conservation and efficient resource utilisation through green and low-carbon development. To prioritise such green and low-carbon development, a few concrete action plans are proposed in 2023.

Firstly, the government will release a revised catalogue of green industries and improve the policy framework in favour of low-carbon industrial transition and energy-saving technology innovation.

Secondly, for acting on China’s “1+N” policy framework, ten major carbon peaking initiatives will be planned with phases. These ten major carbon peaking initiatives are first put forward in the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030. These initiatives primarily cover carbon reduction in the energy, manufacturing and transport sectors, low-carbon development in regions and technologies, and the improvement of the national carbon market mechanisms. Furthermore, carbon-reduction trials for collaborative innovation are expected to be implemented in Chinese regions, cities, industrial parks, and companies.

Thirdly, more developments in restructuring the energy supply system are expected. These developments concern R&D for clean and energy-efficient ways of using coal, planning the commencement of the second batch of wind power construction and facilitating the construction approval of the third batch. Above all, more low-carbon or zero-carbon pilot cities and projects should be launched.

Finally, the plan stresses the data management improvement of CO2 emission accounting. There should be an effective management over the second compliance cycle of China’s emission trading rights. Furthermore, the government will work on the integration of the green electricity certificate market with the emission trading market.

Thus, with these initiatives the announcements aim to accelerate R&D, promotion, and application of advanced energy-saving and carbon emission reduction technologies, improve the carbon emissions statistics and accounting system, exercise effective management over the second compliance cycle of the national market for trading carbon emission rights, improve the cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, and continue to enhance the carbon absorption capacity of ecosystems while being involved in global governance in response to climate change.

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