碳阻迹
2020-04 21
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China takes leading actions in fighting climate change

Date:2020-04

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As International Mother Earth Day is coming, attention is drawn again to our planet's unfolding environmental crisis. China has been actively participating in global climate governance and taking leading actions in staving off climate change with widely recognized achievements. Click to see where it stands now. #EarthDay http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-04/21/c_138996015.htm Source: Xinhua Author: huaxia Date: 2020-04-21

2020-04 03
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China strives to meet 2020 greening goals as COVID-19 outbreak eases

Date:2020-04

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BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- China's efforts to afforest about a quarter of its land remain resolute as the annual tree planting day of the capital city Beijing falls on Saturday amid dwindling cases of locally transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) nationwide. The country plans to increase the afforested areas by 101 million mu (about 6.7 million hectares) by the end of this year, in order to fulfill a long-term afforestation plan of increasing forest coverage rate to 23.04 percent by 2020, and to 26 percent by 2035. Forest coverage rate stood at 22.96 percent by mid-March. The epidemic will not substantially affect China's afforestation progress this year, said Zhang Jianguo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Forestry. He noted that current horticultural technology allows for far longer periods in a year suitable for planting trees. Even so, many people across China have rolled up their sleeves to try to make up for being days behind the greening schedule. Trees most suitable to grow in spring, like smoke bush and apricot, were planted first to save time, while migrant workers in provinces like Jiangxi and Hebei who could not return to their workplaces due to travel restrictions were recruited to further the cause. During China's annual National Tree Planting Day on March 12, when many quarantine rules were still in place, municipalities nationwide kept shovels wielding with innovative touches. Southwest China's Chongqing instructed volunteers to keep "a safe distance" from each other when planting trees, while other cities assembled small groups of volunteers to plant trees on behalf of hundreds of public-spirited residents. Chongqing ended up adding 230,000 trees to its green expanse on this year's Arbor Day, local data showed. Local governments have sought to facilitate work resumption for horticultural projects, with the city of Qinhuangdao in Hebei connecting suppliers with construction firms in the absence of its annual seedling trade fair that was canceled over COVID-19 concerns. As there is no quarantining of love for nature, those who were unable to plant trees themselves have chipped in through "cloud planting." The country's internet-based greening campaign allows residents to adopt trees by paying due contributions online or garner enough credits on the mobile payment app Alipay by performing low-carbon activities like renting a bike or taking public transportation in exchange for a real tree to be nurtured in their names. "I hope to see my eight-year-old grandson grow up with the seedling I adopted and to teach him about protecting the environment," said Cai, a 60-year-old Shanghai local who adopted a magnolia tree in the city's botanical garden. China has vowed to maintain its efforts to promote greening despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as was reflected in an earlier State Council circular urging region-specific approach in the respect. Official data showed the country had fulfilled 12.9 percent of the annual afforestation target by early March, and 92 percent of forest enterprises outside the COVID-19 hardest-hit Hubei Province had resumed business activities by March 22. Source: Renmin Author: Xinhua Date: April 03, 2020

2020-03 22
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China's reforestation efforts significantly impact global carbon emission reduction

Date:2020-03

View:22

Photo taken on May 16, 2016 shows the scene of Dazhuang Village in Qian'an City, north China's Hebei Province. Local government made efforts in afforestation to improve the eco-environment and generate income for villagers. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao) Photo taken on May 16, 2016 shows the scene of Dazhuang Village in Qian'an City, north China's Hebei Province. Local government made efforts in afforestation to improve the eco-environment and generate income for villagers. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao) Members of Haojingxiang Afforestation Team are busy building firebreak in Xingtai County, north China's Hebei Province, Aug. 30, 2017. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Chen Lei) Photo taken on July 14, 2017 shows working staff touring the Saihanba forest in Chengde City, north China's Hebei Province. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Zhang Hao) Photo taken on June 11, 2016 shows the scenery of the Taihang Mountain in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Wang Xiao) Aerial photo taken on April 2, 2017 shows the Mulan Tianchi Lake scenic area in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. Local government has enhanced the afforestation efforts to improve the ecological environment. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu) People walk on a greenway across Donghu Lake in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 2, 2017. Local government has enhanced the afforestation efforts to improve the ecological environment. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi) hoto taken on July 11, 2017 shows tourists visiting the Qixing Lake Scenic Area of the Saihanba State Forest Park in Chengde City, north China's Hebei Province. China's Saihanba afforestation community on Dec. 5, 2017 was announced to be one of the top winners of the annual UN Champions of the Earth Award for its outstanding contribution to restoration of degraded landscapes, amid the national efforts to advance ecological civilization. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Wang Xiao) Photo taken on July 25, 2018 shows the Hanwang park in Anping County, north China's Hebei Province. Environmental afforestation projects have been taken to improve the ecological conditions in Anping County in recent years. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Zhu Xudong) Aerial photo taken on July 28, 2018 shows the morning scenery of the Saihanba National Forest Park in Chengde, north China's Hebei Province. The world has become a greener place than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to China's reforestation efforts that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact on the global mission of cutting carbon emissions. Every March 21, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, offering an opportunity for countries to reflect on their afforestation efforts. China's progress is noteworthy. A recent Boston University study tracking NASA satellites shows that over the last two decades, "the greening of the planet represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests," with China and India leading the charge. The study also finds the world is getting greener overall, and China alone accounts for 25 percent of the global net increase in leaf area although the country holds only 6.6 percent of the global vegetated area. As a country that once suffered severe desertification, China's progress is stunning and marks a significant contribution to the global community. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest. (Xinhua/Liu Mancang) Source:XINHUA Author: ZX Date: 2019-03-22

2020-03 19
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Soil carbon potential in climate change mitigation

Date:2020-03

View:19

BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have disclosed that enhanced soil carbon storage can potentially play an important role in mitigating global climate change. Compared with the role of forests in carbon sequestration, the practical implementation of soil carbon sequestration as a strategy to combat climate change has not yet been fully realized, according to their recent research paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability. The researchers from the Nature Conservancy and the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences evaluated global carbon storage capacities by monitoring the carbon reduction potential in forests, wetlands, farmlands and grasslands. They quantified the role of soil carbon in natural climate solutions and found that soil carbon represented 25 percent of the total mitigation potential of natural climate solutions, a critical pathway for the removal of atmospheric carbon. Furthermore, the results showed that soil carbon comprised nine percent of the carbon dioxide reduction potential for forests, 72 percent for wetlands and 47 percent for agriculture and grasslands. The researchers predicted that carefully controlling soil carbon will be pivotal to the success of land-based efforts to prevent carbon emissions and improve soil health. Source: Xinhua Author: huaixa Date: 2020-03-19 

2020-03 06
View 18
Guest post: China’s power sector could be ‘10% cheaper in 2030’ with more renewables

Date:2020-03

View:06

The costs for solar, wind and battery storage have dropped markedly since 2010 and are expected to decline further in the near future. This rapid fall in costs could have a large effect on energy system investment and policies, but has not been fully captured in energy modelling.  This is particularly relevant for China, which is now debating whether to build hundreds of new coal-fired power plants in the 2020s, despite overcapacity and financial distress in the sector. In a new study, published in Nature Communications, we worked with my colleagues to explore the implications of clean-energy cost trends for the electricity system in China over the next decade. We found that if China uses the most cost-effective renewable energy resources, it could generate more than 60% of its electricity from “non-fossil” sources by 2030 – including wind, solar, hydro and nuclear – at a cost that is around 10% lower than under business-as-usual. This cleaner electricity mix would still reliably meet rising demand. This suggests China could raise its target to get 50% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030, while saving money. Balancing priorities It is often said that renewable sources of electricity, such as wind and solar, are variable and expensive. However, the recent innovation in technology and operation of electricity grids – and, in particular, the availability of cheaper storage – have changed the industry outlook. In this study, we used an electricity system capacity expansion model (SWITCH-China) to explore how the Chinese power system could be expanded to meet rising electricity demand. We developed four scenarios for 2030 to explore the implications of a continued, rapid decrease in renewable energy costs. The scenarios are: 1) Business-as-usual scenario (BAU), which assumes the continuation of current policies and moderate cost decreases in future renewable costs; 2) Low-cost renewables scenario (R), which assumes the rapid recent decrease in costs for renewables and storage will continue; 3) Carbon constraints scenario (C50), which has a power-sector carbon cap of 50% below 2015 levels in 2030, on top of the R scenario; 4) Deep carbon constraints scenario (C80), which further constrain the carbon emissions from the power sector to be 80% lower than the 2015 level by 2030. All scenarios assume the same electricity demand projection, which reaches 8,757 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2030, up from 7,225TWh today. Our modeling results show that, as expected, rapid decreases in the costs of renewable energy sources lead to more wind and solar capacity being installed. If the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for solar, wind and storage follows recent global trends then, by 2030, China could meet expected demand with 62% of its electricity from non-fossil sources under the R scenario with the lowest overall cost. This “R” scenario is shown in the figure, below, in the second column on the right-hand side, with wind (green) and solar (yellow) providing 39% of the total. As a result of higher non-fossil output, coal-based generation (black) could be just 3,700TWh in 2030 under the R scenario, some 30% lower than under BAU (4,900TWh). Battery storage (orange) and small amounts of gas (purple) generation would supplement the increasing wind and solar supplies. Electricity generation by fuel, terawatt hours, in 2020 (left), 2025 (centre) and 2030 (right), under each of the four modelled scenarios. Source: He et al. (2020). Wind, solar and storage growth Non-fossil sources of electricity would need to grow their capacity dramatically over the next decade if they are to meet such significant shares of electricity demand in China. The figure below shows the capacity of each source, in gigawatts (GW), under the four scenarios. By 2030, wind and solar capacity would reach 660GW and 1,260GW under the “R” scenario, respectively. These figures can be compared with current wind and solar capacity of 210GW and 204GW, respectively. Mix of installed power capacity, gigawatts, in each of the four scenarios in 2020 (left), 2025 (centre), and 2030 (right). Source: He et al. (2020). With wind and solar generating increasing shares of China’s electricity, there would be a growing need for system flexibility and storage capacity to help integrate their variable output, while reliably meeting demand at all times. By 2030, storage capacity – including from batteries – is just 34GW under BAU, but needs to grow to as much as 307GW in the R scenario, as shown in orange in the figure above. To put this in context, pumped hydro capacity in China in 2015 was about 25GW and has been expanding very quickly. In our scenarios, it is estimated to reach up to 130GW by 2030, with the remaining 177GW coming from battery storage or other storage technology. This large capacity would be very ambitious to deploy in a comparatively short time, requiring about 11.8GW annually during the period we modelled. If battery efficiency and performance were to improve more quickly than we assumed, the needed storage capacity would be smaller. Cost of carbon mitigation In the next part of our research, we evaluate the CO2 emissions impact due to increasing generation from renewable energy and decreasing generation from fossil fuels. Our results show that a low-cost renewables (R) scenario would result in 25% lower emissions, at 2,970 million metric tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) in 2030 versus 3,980MtCO2 under the BAU scenario. This is shown in the left-hand chart in the figure below, where power-sector CO2 emissions would be expected to remain relatively constant under BAU (blue line), but would fall rapidly over the next decade under the “R” low-cost renewables pathway (orange). Power-sector CO2 emissions 2015-2030 (a, left, millions of tonnes) and electricity generation costs, including the cost of storage and other grid infrastructure (b, right, dollars per megawatt hour) under the four scenarios. Source: He et al. (2020). Given the remarkable and ongoing reductions in the cost of renewable power, the 25% reduction in carbon emissions could be achieved for a lower cost of power under the R scenario than under the BAU scenario, as shown in the chart above right. In 2030, total costs under the R scenario are 11% lower than those under the BAU scenario. As a result, the implied cost of carbon reduction would be -$36 per tonne of CO2. Even under the carbon cap (C50) scenario, China could eliminate half of its 2015 emissions from the power sector by 2030 at 6% lower cost, while delivering 77% of electricity from non-fossil sources. Regional power trade In the final part of our work, we examined the regional implications of rising renewable output for the power system in 2030. In particular, we found regional disparities in the location of the most cost-effective renewable energy resources in China. With the assumed decrease in costs for solar, wind and storage technologies, the northwest region could emerge as a national supplier of carbon-neutral electricity, while the eastern grid could become increasingly import-dependent to meet its demand. Such a regional imbalance would become larger with greater penetration of renewables, as would the need for inter-provincial transmission lines. For each region on the map, the graph shows electricity generation from each fuel in 2030, under the four different scenarios that we studied. The dotted lines show that region’s electricity demand and the magenta arrows represent electricity flows from one region to another in the R scenario. Regional generation, demand and interregional transmission map for the R scenario in 2030, in terawatt hours. Each region shows a graph, with bars representing generation from each fuel for the four different scenarios, in order of increased carbon reduction (from left to right: BAU, RE, C50 and C80). The dotted line across all bars in each set of generation graphs represents the yearly demand in 2030 in each region, which stays constant across the four scenarios. The magenta arrows point in the direction of the transmission flow between two regions. Source: He et al. (2020). Clean energy transition and post-Covid recovery As China drafts its 14th five-year plan (due next year) and deliberates its own post-Covid economic recovery measures, our research offers valuable insights into the cheapest ways to meet the country’s rising electricity demand. Most notably, we found that China could cut emissions from its power sector at lower overall cost than a business-as-usual approach, by relying more heavily on renewables and storage. This would have co-benefits including reducing harmful air pollution, cutting water use and creating green jobs. Receive our free Daily Briefing for a digest of the past 24 hours of climate and energy media coverage, or our Weekly Briefing for a round-up of our content from the past seven days. Just enter your email below: myemail@address.com   DAILY + WEEKLY In contrast, there are signs that some local governments are fast-tracking more new coal power plants this year, despite the fact that half of China’s existing capacity is already losing money and the entire fleet only operates half the time, a sign of overcapacity. While it should save money overall, the scale of the transformation implied by our work is significant and would require a very rapid acceleration of current progress. The capacity of renewables and storages, as well as transmission infrastructure, would need to be scaled up very quickly. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that such a fast decarbonisation and clean power transition is both technically feasible and economically beneficial. Options to bring such a transition about could include long-term targets for clean energy, such as a zero-emission power target, as well as electricity market reforms. This could create incentives to reduce institutional barriers to trading power across regions and to better integrate renewable energy. Source: CarbonBrief Author: Dr Jiang Lin, Nat Simons presidential chair in China energy policy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab;Dr Gang He, assistant professor at the Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University. Date: 03.06.2020