2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #31

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Story of the Week...

China’s emissions ‘could peak 10 years earlier than Paris climate pledge’

Coal-fired Power Plant in China


CO2 emissions in China may peak up to a decade earlier than the nation has pledged under the Paris Agreement, according to a new study.

With its enormous population and heavy reliance on coal, China is by far the world’s biggest polluter, responsible for more emissions than the US and EU combined.

One of the drivers behind Chinese emissions is the intense urbanisation that has taken place across the country in recent years, as millions of people flock from rural areas to rapidly expanding cities.

However, in new analysis published in Nature Sustainability, a team of researchers has shown that as China’s burgeoning cities become wealthier, their per capita emissions begin to drop.

According to their analysis, this trend could in turn trigger an overall dip in CO2 levels across the nation, and mean that despite the current target for emissions peaking by 2030, they may in fact level out at some point between 2021 and 2025.

It is not the first time a study has suggested a premature dip in China’s emissions, but its timing is significant given an imminent UN summit where world leaders will under pressure to step up their Paris targets.

China’s emissions ‘could peak 10 years earlier than Paris climate pledge’ by Josh Gabbatiss, Rest of World Emissions, Carbon Brief, July 29, 2019 

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Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 4 August, 2019

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