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Growth in CO2 emissions leaves China likely to miss climate targets

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: China is significantly off track in meeting its core climate targets for 2025, despite the rapid expansion of the clean energy sector, which has become a major driver of the country's economic growth
• An analysis by Carbon Brief reveals that China's efforts in renewable energy growth are overshadowed by its increasing carbon dioxide emissions and continued approval of coal power plants

🔭 The context: China's total energy consumption rose by 5.7% in 2023, marking the first year since 2005 where energy demand outpaced GDP growth
• CO2 emissions have continued to rise at an average rate of 3.8% annually between 2021 and 2023, driven by an economic model that remains highly energy-intensive, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The persistent increase in CO2 emissions and the high carbon intensity of China's economy pose significant challenges to global climate goals
• China's struggle to balance its clean energy ambitions with its coal dependency highlights the complexities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy and underscores the need for significant policy shifts to meet international climate commitments

⏭️ What's next: To align with its 2025 climate targets, including reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by 18% and increasing non-fossil energy sources to 20%, China must rapidly decelerate its CO2 emissions
• The analysis suggests emissions need to fall by 4% to 6% to achieve these goals, requiring a major reorientation of China's energy and economic strategies in the coming years

💬 One quote: "Optimistically, these distortions to the economic structure before and during zero-Covid could be reversed, and that combined with the clean energy drive could serve to bring down emissions rapidly," (Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air)

📈 One stat: Renewable energy production in China needs to grow by more than 11% annually to meet the 2025 target, but current increases are only at an annual rate of 8.5%

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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