Guide to Chinese Climate Policy: REVIEW

International Affairs Academy

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July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded. The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization said, “July has rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records.” Temperatures soared around the world, including in China. A prominent Chinese scientist predicted that such heat waves would become the “new normal” in the decades ahead.1 The first edition of the Guide to Chinese Climate Policy was released in July 2018 (the third hottest month ever recorded). My goal was to provide an objective, factual report on climate change policies in the world’s largest emitter. Since then, trends in China’s response to climate change have been mixed. On the one hand:

● In 2018, China’s emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas, rose roughly 2.5%. This was the largest annual increase in five years.

● In 2018, roughly 30 GW of new coal-fired power capacity was added in China (roughly 60 midsized coal plants). Capacity additions for coal-fired power plants continued at the same pace in the first half of 2019.4

● China’s public financial institutions continued to lead the world in financing new coalfired power plants abroad.5 On the other hand:

● In 2018, China again led the world in renewable power deployment, adding 43% of the world’s new renewable power capacity.