7/01/2015

Chinese pledge to increase CO2 emissions

The media reports China has “pledged” to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 in a letter to the UN Climate bureaucracy. However, it looks like China´s reduction pledge is a sizable increase, and would leave China as the King Kong of CO2 emissions per capita and by just any other unit we wish to use.

Chinese citizens are very happy to see the new 
government plans to increase CO2 emissions, thus 
ensuring the people´s future economic well being. 

Su Wei,  has pledged to increase China´s CO2 emissions by 2030 by an unspecified amount.  Mr Su is the  “National Focal Point for UNFCC” and Director General of the Department of Climate Change. He sent a letter to Christiana Figueres , UNFCC Executive Secretary, stating China would lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% from the 2005 level. 

Note: If you don´t like math please skip the following paragraph. 


So how much CO2 are we talking about, and is this letter saying China will increase or decrease CO2 emissions? It depends. Su reports in his letter (on Pg 3)  than China´s CO2 emissions per GDP unit have already dropped by 33.8 % from the 2005 level. Chinese 2014 emissions were around 10 gigatons (that´s 10 X 109), and GDP was 17617 X 10US Dollars in 2014. This means Chinese CO2 emissions intensity was (10/17.617) 0.567 kg per $ in 2014, and 0.856 kg per $ in 2005…this is getting nerdy....We´ll use Mr. Su´s figures to figure out what´s going on.   If China drops it´s CO2 intensity by 62 % from the 2005 figure the 2030 value would be (1-0.62) times 0.856 kg per $, or 0.325 kg CO2 per $.

China´s economy will grow by X amount between 2015 (now) and 2030 (the target date). We don´t know how much it will grow, but we can try to make a guess. The World Bank, in it´s "China 2030"  report showed the following:

World Bank´s China Growth Projections to 2030

Note: If you don´t like math please skip the following paragraph. 

They project China´s economy will be 2.37 times larger by 2030. I´m going to be a bit less optimistic and cut it down to 2. If China´s economy doubles to $35200 X 10US Dollars by 2030, and emissions intensity drops to 0.325 kg CO2 per $, then China´s CO2  emissions would be 11.4 gigatons. If the growth is as projected by the World Bank they could be 13.5 gigatons. 

In conclusion,  Mr Su´s letters says China plans to increase its CO2 emissions by 2030.

Note: If you don´t like math please skip the following paragraph. 

By comparison, today´s  European Union CO2 emission intensity is around 0.3 kg CO2 per $. This means the Chinese have committed to decrease  its 2030 emissions intensity to a value  slightly higher than the European Union´s before it commits economic suicide and atempts to cut its emissions by a further 20 % from 2020 to 2030. Meeting this pledge would drop its emissions intensity to 0.2 kg per $ if its economy manages to grow 1 % per year.

Note: You should read this paragraph even if you don´t like math 

And that´s it in a nutshell. The European Union plans to drop its CO2 intensity to 0.2 (or even lower), China plans to drop its CO2 intensity to 0.325 kg per $. China will be the undisputed CO2 champion in 2030, and school children all over the world will be learning Chinese as a second language. 

World CO2 emissions (from Edgar, link below)







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