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Carbon goals reaffirm nation's green commitment

By HOU LIQIANG and CUI JIA | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-03-06 07:56
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File photo shows a wind power plant in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The energy efficiency and carbon intensity targets set by China reaffirm the country's strong green commitment and indicate the affirmative steps taken to achieve carbon neutrality within the stipulated time, experts said.

China plans to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 13.5 percent and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 18 percent during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday in the Government Work Report submitted at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.

"We will ensure that China meets the targets for its intended nationally determined contributions (post-2020 climate actions) in response to climate change by 2030. We will expedite the transition of China's growth model to one of green development, and promote both high-quality economic growth and high-standard environmental protection," the premier said.

The country will draw up an action plan for peaking carbon emissions by 2030. "As a member of the global village, China will continue to take concrete steps to play its part in the global response to climate change," he said.

Despite development risks and challenges, the country expects to see a drop of around 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP this year, as well as a continued reduction in the discharge of major pollutants, he said.

China had earlier said it would reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP and carbon intensity by 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2020.

Yao Tandong, a national political adviser and noted glaciologist, said the energy efficiency and carbon intensity targets for the 14th Five-Year Plan period are "reasonable".

"The targets can not only help China realize its target of peaking carbon dioxide emissions but have also taken into account the country's development," said Yao, who is also an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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