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China Announces Key Energy-Saving and Carbon-Reduction Targets and Actions for 2024-2025


29 May 2024 – China’s State Council issued the Action Plan for Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction in 2024-2025 (hereinafter referred to as the “Action Plan” or “Plan”) on 29 May 2024. The Action Plan announces major energy saving and carbon reduction targets that China aims to achieve by the end of 2025. The Action Plan also identifies sectoral priorities and relevant management and support mechanisms that will enable the achievement of the Plan’s targets. Quantitative targets in the Plan include increasing the percentage of non-fossil fuel consumption in China to about 18.9% in 2024 and around 20% in 2025; and reducing about 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually in 2024 and 2025.

Although the Action Plan does not explicitly include non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets, some targets and actions included in the Plan can strengthen and serve as references for non-CO2 GHG emissions reduction advocacy efforts. For example, the Plan specifies:

  • “Strict and reasonable” control of coal consumption, with a focus on reduction of coal consumption for non-power usages;
  • Guiding the development of the oil and gas industry and accelerating the large-scale development of unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale oil (gas), coalbed methane, and tight oil (gas), etc.;
  • Promoting non-fossil fuel consumption and specifying that, by the end of 2025, the share of China’s power generation from non-fossil fuel sources shall reach about 39% nationwide;
  • Carrying out energy saving and carbon reduction actions in entities that rely fully or partially on government funding and specifying that, by the end of 2025, these entities’ share of coal consumption will be reduced to less than 13%, and national government agencies’ share of new cooling equipment with advanced levels of energy efficiency shall reach 80%; (the energy efficiency criteria for “advanced levels” are defined here); and
  • Improving appliance efficiency and strengthening recycling and reuse. By 2025, the share of energy-efficient products shall be raised to 40% and 60%, respectively, of all commercial and residential cooling equipment in use.

Countries such as China must adopt measures to simultaneously reduce CO2 and non-CO2 GHG emissions. Cutting super climate pollutants, in particular the species of non-CO2 pollutants referred to as short-lived climate pollutants—black carbon, methane (CH4), tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—can avoid four times more warming at 2050 than CO2 cuts alone can, and reduce the rate of global warming by half. Furthermore, if HFC phasedown is paired with improved energy efficiency and sound lifecycle refrigerant management, emission reductions could be doubled (or more) with the adoption of best practice policies. Slowing the rate of warming in the near term reduces the risk of climate extremes that scale with the rate of warming and threaten to accelerate climate feedbacks and trigger a cascade of irreversible tipping points.

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