Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Different Way to Look at the Carbon Emission in China

Zhu Liu

China produces half the world's steel, cement, and glass
Their carbon emissions surged around 2000, with China contributing now 80% of the growth in carbon emissions and already using more water than its own reserves
China's energy intensity is low, lower than India's, and thus has many opportunities for greater energy efficiency and has been achieving their energy intensity targets in their five year plans, mostly by closing small coal plants and factories and building large scale plants and factories with higher coal energy efficiency than US
However they do not have total carbon emissions controls, gauge enviro and health impacts, and no potential for future efficiency through the method of closing small and building large
Now looking at carbon footprint throughout the supply chain
Great growth in cross-boundary emissions (importation of energy beyond city or regional borders) and in transportation since 1997.  Production has moved to poorer regions while their consumption of goods and services has not matched the growth in the more developed regions.  This is also happening between China and the world but their emissions and air pollution are also an export which affects people beyond the Chinese borders.
Construction is about half of all Chinese carbon emissions, with the vast majority in indirect emissions through the production of metal, non metal, chemical, power and transportation production.
Chinese average per capita carbon footprint is only a little larger than the global average, with the richest Chinese having a footprint approaching that of the UK or Germany and higher than the Japanese average.
China's reduction of emissions to reach the 2 degree or less temperature increase will be larger than all the rest of the world.
The growth in transportation is mostly attributable to the shift from bicycles to cars
Q:  infrastructural limit to cars?
Regulation and trade offs
Q:  black carbon?
Cooling effects of carbon have to be taken into consideration
Q:  Chinese public attitude and action on climate change?
Increasing awareness and concern around sustainability and environment.  Carbon footprint labeling may be a future possibility.
Q:  realistic emissions reductions?
Already achieved the promised 45% energy intensity reduction pledged for 2020 and 15% renewables by 2020.
Q:  regional consumption differences?
Shanghai to Inner Mongolia is a range of 30-50x 
If China used US production methods it would result in 10% decrease in emissions
Wind could address all of China's needs according to one study.  Wind produces about a third of the power in Mongolia while many turbines are not connected to the grid
Q:  carbon intensity as a measure?
Included in the 2005-2010 five year plan as well as energy intensity
Q:  carbon trading?
Now covers 15% of the emissions and will soon be the largest carbon trading market in the world

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