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NRDC~Greening China through International Cooperation and Improved Transparency


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  • 1. Greening China: Opportunities for international cooperation and improved transparency
    Michael davidson
    Natural resources defense council
    April 2011
  • 2. About the Natural Resources Defense Council
    NRDC’s purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.
    We use law, science and the support of 1.3 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things.
    We have 5 offices in the U.S. and an office in Beijing, China
  • 3. Accelerating the Greening of China
    15 years on the ground in China
    Works with Chinese actors in government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and corporations
    NRDC was the first international environmental organization to establishclean energy and green building programs in China.
    Focus areas:
    Industrial energy efficiency
    Green buildings
    Sustainable Cities
    Renewable Energy Policy
    Environmental laws, transparency, governance
    Greening multinational corporations supply chain
  • 4. Overview
    China’s Environmental Challenges
    China Takes on Climate
    Transparency in Implementation
    U.S.-China Cooperation
  • 5. China’s Energy and Environment Challenge
  • 6. China’s Challenges
    The world’s largest…
    Energy consumer: 3.25 billion metric tons of coal-eq in 2010
    GHG emitter: over 7 billion metric tons of CO2 / year
    Coal user: mined 3.2 billion metric tons in 2009; 650 GW of power capacity in 2010
    • COAL continues to dominate energy mix, ~ 70%
    • 7. External costs of coal ~ 7% of GDP1
    True Cost of Coal, Greenpeace,
  • 8. China’s Challenges (2)
    Industrial growth
    Source: LBNL, 2010, see:
  • 9. China’s Challenges (3)
    Urbanization and
    Credit: EPA
  • 10. Bad Air: a times series
    Tianjin conference center
  • 11. China Takes on Climate: China’s OpportunityClean Energy RaceThe Next Five Years
  • 12. “Is there any hope, if most nations delude themselves with greenwash, of stopping rule by fossil fuel interests? Yes. China is the best hope.” – Jim Hansen, South China Morning Post, Nov 2, 2010
  • 13. China’s Opportunity
    2.4 Gt CO2
    2.4 Gt CO2
    Source: China’s Green Revolution, McKinsey and Co., 2009
  • 14. The Clean Energy Race
    New investments (2004-2010)
    Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • 15. The Clean Energy Race (2)
    Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • 16. China’s Leading Indicators in Green Development
    Wind: Leads in total wind energy capacity; 3 of the top 10 wind companies
    Solar: 6 of the top 10 solar companies
    Smart growth: 13pilot low-carbon cities and provinces
    Smart grid: Largest smart grid investor in the world
    Transportation: Raising efficiency standards, increase fleet of hybrid/electric cars
  • 17. The Last Thirty Years
    Energy Intensity (1978-2015)
    Source: IEA CO2 Highlights, 2009; The Climate Group
  • 18. And The Next Five Years…
    Climate Change and New Energy are strategic priorities
    $760 billion in new energy investment by 2020
    12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015)
    Reduce energy intensity, carbon intensity
    Increase share of renewables in energy mix
    Develop new strategic industries in clean energy and environmental protection
    Develop market mechanisms: environmental/carbon tax and cap-and-trade pilots
    National Climate Change Law and National Energy Law
  • 19. Climate Negotiations
    In the Copenhagen Accord, China agreed to major actions on climate:
    Reduce carbon intensity by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020
    Increase non-fossil energy usage to around 15% of primary energy consumption by 2020
    Increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares from 2005 levels by 2020
    In Cancun, China helped advance proposals on:
    technology transfer
    climate financing
    transparency of developed and developing country commitments and actions
    reducing deforestation
  • 20. Climate Negotiations (2)
    Specifically, the Cancun Agreements…
    Require developed countries to enhance monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions and financial assistance
    Require developing countries to submit national inventories of actions and emissions every two years
    Establish international consultation and analysis (ICA) of these actions, creating a formal dialogue to discuss these reports
    Which China agreed to, because…
    China is meeting ambitious domestic commitments and deserves credit
    Increased information exchange strengthens the international system and builds confidence
    China’s experiences with low-carbon development provide useful models for other developing countries
  • 21. Transparency in Implementation:Benefits to EnforcementTarget Responsibility SystemInternational
  • 22. China’s Environmental Enforcement
    Environmental legal system: criticized for weak enforcement and vague laws
    Target responsibility system: detailed, law-like guidelines; potential incentives to falsify data
    Benefits of transparency in the U.S.:
    Empower media and public as environmental watchdogs
    Toxics release inventories engage consumers, banks, corporations
    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have uncovered countless violations
  • 23. How well are existing laws enforced?
    Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI)
    2008: open environmental information measures take effect
    Rated 113 cities on disclosure performance
    Improvements in 2010: 82 0f 113 (73% of Chinese cities)
    All-star city of best practices (95.3 pts) shows transparency is possible:
    detailed emissions data
    lists of enterprise violations
    prompt response to public information requests
  • 24. What’s in a target?
    11th Five-Year Plan, 20% Energy Intensity Target:
    Policies established to improve industrial, power sector, building, transportation efficiency
    WenJiabao, May 2010: Will use “iron hand” to meet target
    Overzealous local leaders: blackouts, curtailing production
    Source: “Implementation Plan of Evaluation System of Energy Consumption per Unit GDP,” November 17, 2007
  • 25. Why Does This Matter Int’ly?
    Implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions
    Preparation of National GHG Inventory
    Implementation of Domestic MRV Procedures
    Domestic Activities
    UNFCCC Processes
    International Consultation and Analysis
    Source: Clare Breidenich
  • 26. U.S.-China Cooperation
  • 27. Jim Hansen again…“China cannot stabilize Earth’s climate alone. If, as I hope, they conclude that a rising carbon fee is in their interest, the question will become: can they find a sufficient number…who will abandon greenwash and participate in effective policy?”
  • 28. U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation
    Pres. Obama visits China, Nov 2009
    Agreement to establish Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC)
    Action plans on energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles…
    Energy Cooperation Program (AmCham-led)
    Pres. Hu visits U.S., Jan 2011
    $ billions in U.S.-China clean energy business
    EV, smart growth demonstration projects
    CERC work plans finalized
  • 29. Building Efficiency CERC
    Complement two other CERCs – EV, advanced coal
    $50+ mil in joint U.S.-China public-private funds
    Industry cost share partners
    Technology R&D: materials, lighting, insulation…
    Analysis: markets, benchmarking, energy use/behavior
  • 30. ComplementaryChallenges & Opportunities
    Technical hurdles (25% of wind not connected, lower capacity factors)
    China’s “IP of scale”
    Key link in global supply chain
    Deployment gap: in 2010, U.S. trails China by even greater margin (e.g., in new wind, 5GW to 17GW)
    World leader in venture capital (20 times UK spending)
    Wealth of experience with legal frameworks
  • 31. Looking Ahead
    China and U.S. racing ahead together by…
    Strengthening China-U.S. energy and environment partnerships, including CERCs; implement MOUs
    Taking concrete steps at home to reduce emissions
    Actively participating in international response to global warming
  • 32. Thank You! 谢谢!
    Michael Davidson (mdavidson<at>
    Read all our China blogs:
  • 33. Extra Slides
  • 34. 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015)
    Strategic Emerging Industries: energy-saving and environmental protection technology, new energy, biotech, high-end equipment manufacturing, new materials and new-energy cars