China's 20MW Xuzhou PV project
Even though China has topped the United States as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, the government of China is taking further steps to cut its CO2 emissions with plans of spending $372 billion on energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, according to China's State Council.
The Chinese cabinet said on Tuesday that the investment will take "China almost halfway to meeting its target to cut the energy intensity;" noting that investment will be part of an initiative to cut energy consumption by 300 million tons of standard coal.
The government’s goal is said to intend to cut the country’s energy consumption by 16 percent below 2010 levels by 2015, where spending will be divided to include an allocation of $155 billion earmarked for projects that cut energy usage.
According to a recent Report from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, energy use increased at the fastest pace in four years in 2011, however efficiency improved. Energy consumption increased 7 percent to 3.48 billion metric tons of standard coal equivalent.
A Bloomberg report explains that this is, "the fastest rate since 2007, when it was 7.8 percent." On the upside, the Bureau noted that consumption per unit of gross domestic product fell 2.01 percent from 2010.
As part of the new program, Chinese steel producers will be mandated to reduce their energy use per unit of production by 25 per cent over the five years; coal-fired power plants are expected to show an 8 percent reduction, and cement manufacturers, 3 percent. Meanwhile, the nation is said to have already phased out thousands of old, inefficient factories and fossil fuel-fired power plants.
At present, reports show that China's carbon output grew by 800 million tons to 9.7 billion last year, or 29 percent of the total global CO2 emissions; revealing that a huge hurdle lies well beyond the next three-and-half years. Furthermore, Government officials reportedly said they expect China's greenhouse gas emissions to peak around year 2030. This poses a significant environmental impact.
Moving ahead, China plans to cut its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. This is a clear signal that the nation with the 2nd largest economy in the world is turning its top ranking green house gas emitter status around –to coming up as the world's largest producer of renewable energy.