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

Annual report “China’s Climate Change Policies and Measures 2020” published by MEE

The report details China’s climate achievements and addresses the topics of design and goals of China’s climate policies, mitigation and adaptation, actions from the general public, improving institutional mechanisms, strengthening capacity and international cooperation.

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The MEE’s annual report, which was released on 13 July, covers seven main topics: the overall design and goals of China’s climate policies, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, improving institutional mechanisms, strengthening capacity, actions from the general public, and international cooperation. The report also lists China’s achievements in combating climate change to date and shows that China’s carbon intensity in 2020 has decreased by 47.9% compared to 2005, hence exceeding the 2020 reduction targets. As of 2020, 15.3% of the total energy consumption was covered by non-fossil energy sources. Concerning China’s climate cooperation with Germany, the report emphasized the importance of continued bilateral cooperation in the area of energy efficiency.

In matters of international climate cooperation, the report emphasized the importance of advancing the multilateral climate process under the UN framework and stressed China’s contributions to the negotiation process under the UNFCCC, especially regarding the country’s advocacy for “common but differentiated responsibilities”. Furthermore, the report affirmed the importance of strengthening bilateral climate cooperation, especially concerning the promotion of bilateral cooperation on energy efficiency with Germany, Russia, Japan, the EU, and the International Energy Agency (IEA). In addition, the goal of deepening South-South cooperation, for instance with Cambodia and the People’s Republic of Laos, was reaffirmed.

The report states that the Chinese government has been working to mitigate climate change since 2019 by restructuring industries, improving energy efficiency, optimizing the energy mix, increasing carbon sinks, strengthening the control of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, and promoting low-carbon pilot projects. In matters of restructuring the industry, the MEE continued reducing industrial overcapacities and accelerated the green and low-carbon transformation of industries. Furthermore, the service industry and the expansion of new industries were supported by the ministry.

The report emphasizes that since 2019, China has made efforts to improve its adaptation capacity and actively participated in and promoted international cooperation on climate change adaptation, achieving positive results in several areas. For instance, in the field of agriculture, the development of high-quality farmland as well as water-saving farming and dryland farming practices have been promoted. In total, 220 dry farming demonstration areas have been established. Furthermore, the MEE worked to improve China’s resilience in matters of water security and to conserve and restore forests and wetlands as well as coastal ecosystems. In urban areas, the MEE promoted pilots of climate-resilient city designs as well as the construction of sponge cities. Furthermore, the MEE worked to safeguard energy security by commissioning 14 high-voltage DC transmission channels and forming four strategic import channels for oil and gas imports.

The MEE further worked to improve institutional mechanisms by promoting green finance, developing and revising green product certification and standards, and accelerating the construction of a national ETS.

In matters of capacity building, the MEE strengthened the greenhouse gas statistics and accounting system by commissioning studies related to climate change topics, promoting research and development and application of low-carbon technologies, and supporting research on the financial impacts of climate change. Moreover, climate-related educational resources, including climate-related degree programmes and online courses, were promoted by the ministry. The report emphasized that society as a whole should be involved in climate action projects. In 2019 for instance, a total of 1,005 undergraduate colleges and universities cooperated with 446 enterprises to establish nearly 15,000 climate-related projects.

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