World's Worst Polluter Moves to Cap Carbon Emissions
China's bold declaration, combined with the US' gives hope for climate talks
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2014 11:08 AM CDT
A residential real estate project is seem on an extreme smog day in Shijiazhuang, in northern China's Hebei province.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

(Newser) – China plans to put an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions starting in 2016, the chairman of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change told a conference in Beijing yesterday, a potentially massive development given that China is the world's top emitter. "The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity, and an absolute cap," He Jiankun said, according to Climate Action Programme. That plan kicks off in 2016. Until now, China has pegged emission targets to economic growth.

The country's emissions are likely to keep on rising until 2030, peaking at about 11 billion tons, He tells Reuters, but the absolute cap will mean that they are more tightly regulated. The announcement, coming on the heels of the steps the US—the world's second-biggest emitter—announced yesterday, has sent a surge of optimism through UN climate talks. "The Chinese announcement marks potentially the most important turning point in the global scene on climate change for a decade," one professor of energy policy said.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
iq145
Jun 15, 2014 8:12 PM CDT
China China China! Will they turn out to be the source of every environmental problem?!
HieronymusEponymous
Jun 3, 2014 9:27 PM CDT
China plans to increase nuclear power production 300% by 2017. What could go wrong?
jgarbuz
Jun 3, 2014 1:39 PM CDT
It's one of the few things I agree with Obama, that the fossil fuel industries have to be shut down ASAP! Carbon was in the ground for many tens of millions of years, and it's time to stop raping the earth and burning the stuff, just like it was time for me to stop smoking cigarettes 15 years ago. At some point you've gotta quit before it make you sick and kills you.