2021-02 01
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China's Green Goals: New rules for national carbon market go into effect



China officially launches a national carbon emissions trading scheme today. The move follows pilot programs since 2013 which spanned multiple industries in multiple cities. Sun Ye takes a closer look at how China is evolving into the world's largest carbon market. Now, a new national market to trade carbon emissions in China. The trading mechanism lets participants sell excess emission quotas and buy them if they've run out. For now, it enrolled enterprises that put out 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide or the equivalent every year. The head count is just over 2200 enterprises, and all of them power plants.  While the market itself is only taking baby steps, various reports have estimated China's carbon market would be a multi-trillion-yuan volume market by 2030. The national market operations will be largely modeled on what pilot areas, including Beijing, have been testing for the past decade. ZOU YI Assistant General Manager, China Beijing Green Exchange "When Beijing launched the carbon market plan, power plants, cement factories, petrochemical companies and other industrial firms were included. Since 2016, we've included both fixed facilities and mobile ones. Civil aviation aircraft were added in 2020." Beijing has traded some 1.9 billion yuan, or 300 million USD worth of carbon products in the past years. SUN YE Beijing "Market volume is not the only thing a national market aims for. China has vowed to have its carbon emissions peak by the year 2030 and reach carbon neutral by 2060." MA YONG Deputy Secretary-General, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation "With a national carbon market, China has now entered the first echelon in terms of climate governance in the world. The move shows China's resolution to meet its carbon reduction goals while also setting an important example for others. If the market runs well, China's experience will be carrying even more weight." But Ma also cautions that the market would first have to iron out regional and departmental discrepancies before fully setting sail.  Source:CGTN Author:Sun Ye Date:February 1, 2021

2021-01 23
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China calls for further cooperation with Denmark, Poland in climate, trade and investment



Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held separate phone calls with his counterparts from Denmark and Poland, calling for more efforts to cooperate in various areas such as climate, trade and investment. During the exchange with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Wang said that China welcomes the expansion of two-way trade and investment, adding that it hopes Denmark will continuously push the European Union (EU) to pursue a positive and constructive China policy as Denmark is an important member of the EU. Noting that the two sides have established diplomatic relations for 70 years, Wang said that both sides should seriously summarize these important experiences and lessons so as to carry forward bilateral relations in the next 70 years. Kofod said that Denmark, as one of the first European countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, highly values its relations with China. Denmark highly appreciates the announcement made by Chinese President Xi Jinping that China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, which will vigorously advance international cooperation against climate change, Kofod said. In the telephone conversation with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, Wang stressed that China-Poland relations enjoy a strong momentum of development fueled by "three engines" – bilateral cooperation, China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) cooperation and China-EU cooperation, and that should promote each other and form a joint force. Nothing that Poland is a big country in Central and Eastern Europe and an important EU member, Wang said China attaches great importance to Poland's key role in China's cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries and the EU, and expects more contributions from Poland. To achieve greater development of Poland-China and EU-China relations, Rau said Poland hopes to work with China to work out a blueprint for future high-level exchanges, deepen practical cooperation, and export more Polish products to China. Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:January 23, 2021

2021-01 04
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Experts: China-EU investment treaty just a beginning



The China-EU Investment Treaty has been reached, but the main question lies in the immediate and long-term impacts of the deal.  "The EU's agriculture sector, food sector and new energy industry will benefit directly," said Wang Dan, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank (China), adding that the taxes for agricultural products and new energy-related products will be lowered or even waived. Meanwhile, services and technologies related to sustainable growth will also see more China-EU cross-border deals.  "Other industries that would benefit from this (treaty) would include green economy, artificial intelligence, legal and financial services," said Wang.  She said that both countries are complementary in those elements, and China and the EU both value long-term sustainable development, meaning there is a lot of room for collaboration in carbon emission reduction, health care and education. For actual cross-border transactions, the treaty will further bring down taxation costs, an additional development upon an already existing solid China-EU taxation framework.  "The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation have played an active role in international tax reform. China has established a treaty network with all 27 EU countries," said Nancy Li, a partner from International Tax and Transaction Services at Ernst & Young.  She also said that the treaty will reduce tax burden when it comes to dividend distribution and related payments, giving European investors more confidence and certainty when doing business in China or increasing their stakes in China.  The investment treaty is just a beginning, as reflected by multiple comments from economists and analysts gathered by CGTN.  Next, China will try to keep up with the EU in market transparency and openness and labor protection to secure long-term healthy business relations, a priority pointed out by all of those market experts.  Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:January 4, 2021

2020-12 22
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China's Green Commitment: New white paper on sustainable energy released



China has released a white paper on energy development looking at the growth of the country's energy industry in regards to green, open, and shared development. Our reporter Dong Xue takes a closer look.  Putting people first! With a new white paper, Beijing says it upholds its commitment to energy development for the people, by the people, answerable only to the people. Titled "Energy in China's New Era" the document lays out a new strategy consisting of four reforms and one area of cooperation. To improve the energy consumption structure by containing unnecessary consumption, to build a more diversified energy supply structure, to improve energy technologies to upgrade the industry, and to optimize the energy system for faster growth of the sector. ZHANG JIANHUA Director General National Energy Administration "Low-carbon energy development is accelerating worldwide, leading to new challenges in energy security. China will uphold the principle of openness and inclusiveness, to promote mutually beneficial energy cooperation." Over the last half century, China's large manufacturing-based economy has primarily been fueled by coal. Since 2012, the annual production of raw coal has ranged between 3.41 and 3.97 billion tons. Green energy plays a significant role in terms of carbon intensity. ZHANG JIANHUA Director General National Energy Administration "China's carbon intensity in 2019 dropped by 18.1 percent, achieving ahead of schedule, the target of reducing carbon emission intensity by 40-45 percent, which was set in 2015." From 2013 to 2019, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP has decreased by 24.4%, saving more than 1.2 billion tons of standard coal, equivalent to a reduction of 2.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, meaning it was only necessary for an annual energy consumption growth rate of 2.8% to support 7% of GDP. DONG XUE Beijing "Decades of rapid economic growth have dramatically expanded China's energy needs. It's now the world's largest energy consumer, producer and consumer of coal, and carbon dioxide emitter meaning as China's role changes, it will continue to have a big impact on global sustainability. Source:CGTN Author:Dong Xue Date:December 22, 2020

2020-12 13
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A new approach to climate change governance



Editor's note: Iram Khan is a Pakistan-based commentator on international affairs. The article reflects the author's views, and not necessarily those of CGTN. On December 12, 2020, at the Climate Ambition Summit 2020, world leaders shared their visions on mitigating the impact of climate change. Chinese President Xi Jinping not only spoke about how his country has been keeping up its commitments but also presented a new approach to climate governance. After fighting bitter wars, the global community came up with a governance system in the form of the UN to allow participative endeavors in solving problems so that unilateral actions do not once again engulf the world in flames of conflict. There is a dire need, likewise, to harness this collaborative nature of mankind in solving the new threat it faces. A revamped architecture of global climate governance where everyone plays their role is one way to achieve tangible results in the fight against climate change. Xi made three proposals for drawing greater attention to climate governance. The first encourages cooperation among all stakeholders to actualize a win-win outcome. Industrial development, with its most profound effect on the environment, has often taken place as a zero-sum phenomenon. Industrially advanced countries continue to reap benefits while disadvantaged ones often bear the brunt of the formers' actions. Island nations are threatened by rising sea levels, agricultural economies are faced with weather unpredictability, vulnerable populations have an uncertain future as they constantly migrate and the absolute poor are unable to ensure food security. When a win-win approach is adopted, development does not happen at this expense. For this purpose, collaborations like the Paris Agreement on climate change help foster considerate attitudes because they promote a multilateral spirit. Climate change has to be the last thing to deal with unilaterally as the actions of one affect all. As the Paris Agreement completes its five years, there has already been remarkable progress in attempts to reverse the damage done to the climate. Countries are pledging to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, dependence on fossil fuels is reducing and recognition for shifting to renewable energy sources is increasing. The pace, however, still needs to accelerate to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. The second proposal Xi made was for every party to play its part in a new architecture of climate governance. Rich nations or poor, none is absolved from the responsibility to protect the environment, for any action they take – positive or negative – has global implications. Under this architecture, responsibilities will have to be shared in a differentiated manner. Each country has different local circumstances and different capabilities. They will have to pool their efforts so that the sum of the parts becomes larger than the whole. Developed nations will have to come forward because greater responsibility lies with them. They should assist developing nations who, on their own, are often left with options to cater for climate change effects that further worsen the situation. Xi suggested in this regard that financing, technology and capacity building of developing nations be scaled up. Since getting back to nature can solve the problems of nature, Xi's third proposal highlighted a green recovery under the new climate governance. Although there is an agreement on this concept, the confidence of decision-makers will have to be further boosted so that they can introduce and promote new approaches to work and life.  Environmental impacts generally do not appear overnight. That is why there has been a belated realization of the long-term effect of industry and production. To negate that, we will have to come up with ways where even the short-term effect is made visible. Just as 2020 saw a dramatic decline in global air pollution due to COVID-19-related stays at home, a swift shift to green energy will foster similar consequences. In our personal ways of life as well, we will have to discontinue the preference of convenience over negatively impacting the environment. Consensus is rapidly emerging over the adoption of green strategies. The development process should, therefore, complement by seeking opportunities out of them. Investment in green technologies will be incentivized when they are relied upon for economic and industrial growth. China is playing an exemplary role to decelerate the climate crisis. It is making nationally determined contributions and policies, leading to an observable difference. The year 2030 is marked as a major milestone in the country's plan. President Xi announced in September that carbon dioxide emissions will peak before 2030 and China will achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. At the Climate Ambition Summit 2020, Xi made further commitments for 2030. These included lowering the emissions per unit of GDP by over 65 percent from the 2005 level, increasing the use of non-fossil fuels, expanding forest stock, and enhancing the capacity of solar and wind power. But one country cannot single-handedly reverse climate change. Several international players have made extraordinary achievements in the recent past which can be amplified with joint efforts. The aim should be keeping the optimism of the Paris Agreement alive and building upon each successive piece of progress. Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:December 13, 2020