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Chinas Environmental Challenges: Energy & Climate Change 1 Joanna I. Lewis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinas Environmental Challenges: Energy & Climate Change 1 Joanna I. Lewis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chinas Environmental Challenges: Energy & Climate Change 1 Joanna I. Lewis, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University Presented at FSI June 12, 2013

2 Air pollution Water pollution, water scarcity Land degradation, desertification Coal reliance increasing to meet growing energy demand Energy-intensive industries increasing Now largest emitter of greenhouse gases Current and Future Environmental Challenges 2

3 3 Lake Tai toxic algae bloom (widely reported in fall 2007) Songhua Benzene Spill (Nov 13, 2005) Riots Sparked by Pollution from Chemical Factories in Huashui Village, Zhejiang (April 2005) Three Gorges Dam


5 Global greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, PFCs and HFCs) in the year 2005 Gg CO2-equivalents per 0.1 degree grid cell. Shown are emissions from anthropogenic origin excluding aviation and land-use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions 5

6 Assessing Chinas Carbon Contribution CHINA Historic Emissions 6

7 7 LBNL, China Energy Databook, 2004; newer numbers from media reports. Note: Historic capacity data includes all fossil capacity, more recent data is just coal power capacity. US, India, UK numbers are from most recent available year. The Coal Challenge in China China 2011CapacityShare USA350 GW44% China650 GW80%

8 Emissions Forecasts China USA





13 Eastern coastal China – Population center – Economic center – Low elevation Northern China – Water scarce – Coal-dependent – Agriculture dependent Southwestern China/Tibetan Plateau – Low population, large share of minorities – Water rich, hydropower dependent Hotspots

14 Climate change as a threat multiplier – Water supply – Food security – Migration – Public health – Economic growth National impacts will have regional, and possibly global, consequences Climate and Security 14

15 Sea level rise of up to 1 meter by 2050 on Chinas eastern coastline; would submerge an area the size of Portugal The majority of Shanghai is less than 2m above sea level Chinas twelve coastal provinces contain about 43% of population and contribute about 65% of GDP; per capita GDP 50% higher than national average 14% of Chinas freight goes through Shanghai and 8% through Tianjin; 29% of trade income from Guangzhou Extreme weather events cost $25 billion in damage in 2006 alone Declining agricultural yields predicted (rice and maize alone a $400 million/yr export industry Economic Impacts: Coastal China

16 Coastal China and Sea Level Rise If the Antarctic ice sheet melted, it would raise global sea level by nearly 60 metres. However, the response of the ice sheet to global warming is the largest unknown in projecting future sea level over the next 100–1000 years. The Antarctic Ice Sheet, as a whole, is contributing to sea level rise at a rate 0.2 mm/y; contributing up to 2m of SLR by end of century (IPCC AR4)

17 Disease – Climate change increase disease incidence and transmission, particularly associated with increased spread of tropical diseases – In Asia, H5N1 (bird flu), malaria expected to have increased range – Heat-related disease Civil Unrest – Driven by water scarcity, particularly in heavily- minority regions – Increased refugees/immigration tensions Threats to Human Security

18 China has ratified the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, but is not bound to emissions reductions China has adopted many high-level resolutions and action plans, with key focus on domestic efforts – Energy efficiency – Renewable energy Energy is at the core of Chinas climate change problem Climate Action in China

19 19 Sources: National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Abstract, various years; NBS media reports 2010; LBNL analysis : Average Annual Decline of 5% per year : Average Annual Increase of 2% per year 2006: 1.79% decrease 2007: 4.04% decrease 2008: 4.59% decrease 2009: 2.2% decrease 11 th FYP Target: Reduce energy intensity by 20% from th FYP Target: 17.3% ( ) 13 th FYP Target: 16.6% ( ) * : NDRC reporting a 15% decline Energy Intensity Trends in China * Targets still under discussion

20 Actual energy consumption Energy intensity Energy consumption at frozen 1977 energy intensity = 3 times higher than with current intensity Source: China Energy Databook, LBNL, 2004, China Energy Statistical Yearbook, Energy Intensity: Why it matters

21 Is the leading manufacturer of most renewable energy technologies (small and large wind, solar PV, small and large hydro, solar hot water) Became largest wind market in the world largest user of clean energy overall in 2010 Is developing first of its kind government- coordinated gigawatt-scale wind and solar projects Invested $54.4 billion in clean energy in 2010 – more than any other country Chinas Clean Energy Achievements 21

22 Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, October 2012; UNEP, Global Trends in RE Investment, Units = $BN Note:. Figures include asset finance (financing of large-scale power-generating projects), public markets (funds raised over the stock markets), venture capital and private equity (financing for primarily private companies from private investors), and funding for small-scale renewable power generation (mainly residential or small commercial photovoltaic systems). Excludes corporate and government R&D. Figures adjusted for re-invested equity. Or $252.5 billion in 2011 including all investment flows (R&D, undisclosed deals) 22 Clean energy is now a $60-70 billion industry globally

23 EU USA ROW Brazil Asia-8 Japan Notes: Clean energy technologies include biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, biofuels, and energy smart technologies and energy efficiency. New investment includes private and public R&D, venture capital, private equity, and public markets (mergers and acquisitions are excluded). Asia-8 includes India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. ROW=Rest of World; EU=European Union; USA=United States of America; UK=United Kingdom; PCT=Patent Cooperation Treaty (streamlined intl. appl. process). Sources: Investment data from Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 (US National Science Foundation 2012); patent data from OECD Patent Database (OECD 2011). China 23 Emerging economies are playing an increasingly important role in investment and innovation

24 24 Non-Hydro Renewables Still Small Share of Electricity Capacity

25 Wind capacity>100 GW>200 GW Wind power190 bln kWh>380 bln kWh Solar capacity>20 GW>50 GW Biomass capacity13 GW30 GW Hydropower capacity260 GW Pumped storage hydro30 GW Geothermal and tidal MW Ocean power50 MW Nuclear40-50 GW60-70 GW 25 Non-Fossil Energy Targets -Target for 15% of its primary energy consumption from non-fossil fuel by GW of PV in 2010 installed globally (so their 2020 target is more than twice current global installations).

26 Decision on speeding up the cultivation and development of emerging strategic industries ( ) HSBC, Chinas next 5-year plan, October th FYP: Strategic Industries Redefined The old pillar industries The new strategic and emerging industries 1National defenseEnergy saving and environmental protection 2TelecomNext generation information technology 3ElectricityBiotechnology 4OilHigh-end manufacturing (e.g. aeronautics, high speed rail) 5CoalNew energy (nuclear, solar, wind, biomass) 6AirlinesNew materials (special and high performance composites) 7Marine shippingClean energy vehicles (PHEVs and electric cars) Pillar industries – strategically important for national security and public interests (over 70% of SOE assets and profits concentrated in the old pillar industries) Receive access to dedicated state industrial funds; increased access to private capital Supported by national industrial policy (tariffs, preferential loans, R&D funds) 26

27 National Renewable Energy Law in place to mandate interconnection and set framework for pricing subsidies National targets to achieve 15% of primary energy and 20% of electricity capacity from renewables by 2020 Developing first of its kind government-coordinated GW-scale wind and solar projects Now the largest producer of solar photovoltaics in the world (mostly exported); home to several advanced wind turbine manufacturers (mostly used domestically) Use of solar hot water technology exceeds that of all other countries combined, also leader in microhydro power, many bio-power technologies Stimulus package contains significant incentives for renewables (including building-integrated PV) Renewable Energy

28 28 Wind and Solar Power Installations, USA & China Wind and Solar Power Installations, USA & China BP 2011; Burgess 2012; Lacey 2012

29 Source: NSF Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 EU wind EU wind, EU solar China wind 29 Wind energy in China represents the largest clean energy investment anywhere

30 30 The Chinese success story Cumulative wind power capacity installed

31 31 The Chinese success story Huge gain in market share

32 32 Large-scale domestic expansion Provinces becoming hubs of manufacturing and deployment

33 Carbon intensity target: 40-45% below 2005 level by 2020 –Actual emissions reduced will depend on economic growth –Target was announced in Copenhagen but is enshrined in Chinas 12 th Five-Year Plan along with strategic clean energy R&D programs Decarbonization of energy supply facilitated by achieving renewable energy goals and increased energy efficiency Real progress being made domestically in monitoring and verification in both areas which will be important to achieving international commitments Builds upon the systems in place for energy intensity target, but will require a new system of GHG accounting – Additional climate policies to reduce emissions under development, including a carbon trading program Carbon Targets

34 Local environmental and energy challenges rank above global (but both rank below other national priorities) Policies are world-class, but implementation is the real challenge Security concerns brought on by environmental and climate impacts could play a major role in prioritizing environmental protection Response to Environmental Challenges

35 Chinas domestic actions leading them to dominate cleantech, but emissions still increasing rapidly – Leading to growing trade tensions in low-carbon industries - border measures key issue during climate legislation debates; multiple WTO investigations underway on wind/solar – Becoming a big factor in Sino-US relations; other countries joining in – China is playing a very important role already (cost reductions, manufacturing scale), and the rest of the world will benefit International Responses China moving ahead on domestic carbon policy but still not a leader in the international climate negotiations Environmental diplomacy secondary to domestic priorities

36 Impacts China will face from climate change will be severe, and could drive domestic action to reduce emissions – Impacts regional, not just localized Existing environmental problems (air pollution, water scarcity) and other security drivers (food production, immigration) will be exacerbated – Key security hot spots are a particular cause of concern International retaliation to Chinas inaction also a risk – Likely increase in trade sanctions if cooperative approach not taken – Regional, even global implications due to Chinas scale and central role Conclusions


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