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China claims progress on climate change targets

As a UNEP report urges emission cuts at the climate summit in Warsaw, China says it has reduced its reliance on coal and become more energy efficient

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(Image by Greenpeace/John Novis)

China has managed to reduce both the proportion of energy it derives from coal and its emission intensity levels, according to a report released by state officials this week.

The report said that China had reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of GDP, with a 5% drop in CO2 emissions per unit of GDP between 2011-2012.

At the same time, the proportion of energy China gets from coal dropped just over 1% between 2011-12, to 67%, while energy from non-fossil fuels increased by 1% to 9% between 2011-12.

The report comes as the UNEP issued a warning to the international community to move immediately to deepen emission cuts, before the cheapest pathways to restricting temperature increases to 2C are lost. In The Emissions Gap Report, published ahead of the latest climate summit in Warsaw next week, the UNEP said global greenhouse gas emissions had reached 50 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – far beyond the 44 gigatonne level needed by 2020, say scientists, to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius.

Speaking ahead of the Warsaw summit, Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said China would play an active and constructive role at the conference. He also urged developed countries to keep to their commitment of raising US$100 billion a year for climate adaptation by 2020.

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