China submitted its renewed nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and long-term emission control strategies to the United Nations (UN) on October 28, according to Caixin on the same day. According to China’s updated NDCs, China committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, in addition to the 2030 carbon emission peak set in 2015. The government also determined to lower the carbon intensity by 2030, from the target of 60%-65% in its 2015 NDCs to over 65% compared to the 2005 levels. Moreover, China’s updated NDCs required all new real estate should follow the green housing standards to strictly control GHG emissions during construction by 2025.
NDCs are the core of the Paris Agreement, which embodies efforts by each signatory country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change in both short and long run. So far, 194 parties have submitted their updated NDCs scheduled in October of this year to the UN. China’s submission was right before the COP26 climate conference, opening on October 31. In addition to updated targets and new measures and policies to pursue the climate-related goals, the Chinese government also illustrated its firm action in implementing the Paris Agreement and the determination to promote a low-carbon future.
In terms of energy structure, the Chinese government acknowledged the challenges in transiting to a greener energy supply in the NDCs. It claimed that due to lack of natural gas and crude oil, coal is likely to keep dominance in generating electricity in the short term. To ease concerns, China’s new NDCs included several monitoring initiatives conducted by the government, with targets of slowing coal consumption by 2025 and showing a downwards trend of coal usage by 2030. In the field of clean energy, China aimed to increase non-fossil fuel energy in the total power supply mix to around 25% during the next decade and develop wind power and solar energy with over 12 gigawatt-hours (GWh) capacity by 2030.