China reaffirms 2030 climate commitments: State Council

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 12, 2015 10:48 PM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed the government's commitment to achieve peak carbon emissions by "around 2030",

the State Council said in a statement issued late on Friday.

The statement contained no new commitments ahead of crucial climate talks scheduled to take place in Paris at the end of the year.

Li, at a meeting of the State Council's National Leading Group on Climate Change, also said it would impose a "tough limit" on the expansion of heavily polluting and energy-intensive industries.

China's coal consumption decreased for the first time in years in 2014, leading some to speculate that its carbon emissions could peak sooner than many had expected.

As the country's energy-intensive heavy industrial sector has suffered over the past two years, electricity production - responsible for the bulk of coal consumption in China - has also lagged.

Electricity output growth in May was flat on the year, after declining outright in the first quarter.

"In 2014, China's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP dropped by 29.9 percent and 33.8 percent over 2005," the State Council, or cabinet, said in the statement.

"The binding targets on energy conservation and emissions reduction set in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan could well be achieved as scheduled."

China has also been engaged in a strong push to raise the percentage of non-fossil fuel energy sources in its overall energy supply mix. Nonetheless, the Friday statement contained no explicit pledge to cap coal consumption.

(Reporting by Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Robert Birsel)