SpeakchesYou are here:Home > Events > Annual Meetings > 2007 > Speakches

Energy Challenge in China and Countermeasures


  I will talk about this issue in three aspects. First, I would like to talk about what situation China is facing in the field of climate change.

  As you all know, the key to addressing global climate change lies in the reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases. However, the emission of greenhouse gases now is still on the rise. The only solution is the promotion of technical innovation in energy field and following the path of low carbon economy. The emissions of CO2 in China are huge with rapid increase, so China is facing grave situation in the reduction of emissions. It is expected that China will exceed U.S.A. in CO2 emissions in 2007 and become No.1 emitting country in the world. However, per capita CO2 emission in 2000 was about 60% of the world average. Now, it is possible that per capita CO2 emission in China is approaching the world average. However, up to now, the accumulated per capita CO2 emission in China is still less than 50% of the world average and 1/7 of the average level of OECD countries.

  CO2 emission intensity per unit GDP in China is relatively high. But it is going down fast with the potential of further reduction. CO2 emission intensity per unit GDP in China is more than 3 times of the world average and over 5 times of the level of OECD countries. However, we enjoy a very fast downturn. From 1980 to 2000, this intensity had gone down by 66%. Though with slight increase during 20002005, it has further gone down since 2005. It is expected that there will be over 3% reduction this year.

  High CO2 emission intensity per unit GDP in China reflects the fact of high energy intensity per unit GDP. This is mainly because of low energy conversion rate and efficiency, about 30% of the level of developed countries.

  In addition, the proportion of industries in our industrial structure is too big, close to 50%, while this figure of developed countries is usually less than 30%.

  The added value of our product is relatively low. In international industrial division, China is at the low end of energy value, leading to high energy consumption intensity per unit GDP.

  Another reason, is that coal dominates our energy mix. So CO2 emission intensity per unit energy in China is about 30% higher than the world average.

  Next, with industrialization process, it is expected that our energy consumption and corresponding CO2 emission will have big increase. Low carbon technology will have rapid development and will play an important role. According to current development trend, it is expected that CO2 emissions in China may increase about 3 times by 2020 as compared with 2005. However, if we vigorously promote energy saving and enhance the application of alternative energy sources, there will be big reduction of CO2 emission. It is expected that CO2 emissions intensity per unit GDP may go down by about 40% by 2020. Therefore, China will make remarkable achievements in the future in terms of CO2 emission reduction. However, at global level, meeting the target of controlling the emissions of greenhouse gases will impose a serious challenge to the modernization of China.

  See the figure.The figure on the left shows the change trend of CO2 emission intensity per unit GDP. It is expected that it may reduce by about 80% by 2050 compared with that of 2005. If we compare with that of developed countries, energy consumption intensity per unit GDP in China will be lower than that of developed countries when per capita GDP being the same. This indicates that China has the change of following the modernization path that may conserve more energy compared with the developed countries during the same process. Now, the overall CO2 emission of China is on the rising trend, therefore, we should not follow the same modernization path of developed countries. We must explore new modernization path.

  Addressing climate change will be coupled with fierce technical competition. It will also serve as an important driver that pushes technical innovation in energy field of China.

  The second aspect is the challenges and opportunities for energy technologies in China to address climate change. In the future, energy security and GHG emissions will increasingly be a concern for energy technologies. Therefore, we need to classify and analyze energy technologies from two dimensions. Also, we need to consider another two aspects: one is the maturity and accumulation of technology. Based on the time and cost of the technologies that improve energy safety and reduce GHG emissions, we may choose future energy technologies.

  We have the following technologies:

  1Energy saving. Prioritizing energy saving is existing national energy strategy of China and an important countermeasure to achieving low carbon economy. Therefore, energy saving and emission reduction now is an important work in the field of economy. We should vigorously promote energy saving. On one hand, we facilitate energy saving through the application of new technology with high efficiency; on the other, we should promote energy saving by structural means, i.e. adjusting industrial structure and product structure in order to raise the added value of products.

  2Alternatives. That is, we should employ alternative energy sources. We should choose among various renewable or alternative energy sources based on our national conditions and objectives of China. Therefore, we have a clear national strategy in terms of energy alternatives. It is expected that by 2020, the installed capacity will reach 300 million KW for hydro-power and 30-50 million KW for wind power actual power generation at 30 million KW. And all the renewable energy in use will be equivalent to 600 million tons of coal equivalent, accounting for 15% of total primary energy consumption in China.

  3Technology. This means that China will develop clean coal power generation technology with high efficiency as well as carbon sequestration technology. This technology will store and bury CO2, thus reducing the emissions. However, this process will correspondingly reduce power generation efficiency and raise the cost. So, time is needed for the research and development process. Therefore, thermal power generation will combine with clean coal technology. China should develop super-critical and high super-critical technologies with high efficiency, then identify gasification technology like IDCC, and finally develop carbon sequestration and bury technology combined with the development of green economy. So in view of addressing climate change and rapid development of energy infrastructure in China, it provides a broad perspective for the development of low carbon economy.

  See the figure on the screenThis is a simple figure showing future energy mix of China. You could see that coal percentage will go down with relatively big increase of renewable energy. Therefore, China should strive for mastering alternative technologies in short period and develop the mechanism for big scale commercialization of such technologies in the future and lay a solid foundation for dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions.

  The figure on the right shows the trend of CO2 emissions. You could see that there will be a dramatic reduction of such emissions after 2020.

  We should strengthen international technical cooperation. Developed countries should exercise their obligations on the provision of funds and transfer technology to developing countries in order to help their energy construction and improvement of existing technology and facilitate technology transfer under the framework of international conventions that are specified by international environmental conventions.

  The third aspect is the strategy and countermeasures of China for addressing climate change. Combining with national development plan for sustainable development, China should promote the development and implementation of countermeasures and policy systems for climate change, put equal emphasis on adaptation and emission reduction and facilitate the capacity building and relevant legal development in this field.

  Next, China should actively carry out policies and countermeasures to address climate change and speed up the pace of technical innovation.

  Furthermore, taking the opportunity of issuing & implementing National Program on Climate Change, China should facilitate harmonized understanding across China and coordinate relevant activities.

  In addition, China should adhere to energy security specified in the Convention, comprehensively weigh the relations between mitigation and energy development, respect the energy characteristics and development law of the countries undergoing normal economic development stage.

  Moreover, China should actively take part in international cooperation in the field of climate change, play a constructive role and actively participate and promote global institutional development for addressing climate change.

  Thank you

  Based on recording



Contact Us:


Address:5 Houyingfang Hutong,Xicheng District,Beijing 100035 P.R.Chinazip code:100035

Copyright © 2020 Secretariat of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. All Rights Reserved. Presented by China Daily.