The report, commissioned by the HSBC Centre of Climate Excellence has examined China’s 12th Five Year Plan (FYP). The Plan sets out the country’s economic roadmap to 2016.

The report, Delivering Low Carbon Growth, says that China is putting clean energy and international climate targets at the heart of the Plan.

The report says the FYP strategy, combines ambitious growth targets with a need to de-carbonise its coal-based economy. The country has set a national carbon intensity reduction target of 17% and intends to cut energy intensity by 16% by 2015.

China’s approach to managing energy is evolving and will be more market-oriented. Market mechanisms include energy price reform, carbon trading pilots, energy labelling for consumer products and support for energy services companies.

China plans to accelerate the growth of clean energy technologies including nuclear power, hydro-electric generation, wind energy, and solar.

The report acknowledges that challenges remain. Coal fired generation and heavy manufacturing still account for 81% of China’s emissions.

Despite the challenges, the report concludes that the pace of deployment of low carbon energy compares favourably with International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2010 scenario for stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at 450ppm by 2100.

Climate Group CEO, Mark Kenber, said: “It is hugely symbolic that China is putting green growth at the core of its national development plan and should be a wake-up call to Europe and North America policy-makers that a clean tech race is well under way.

“This bold policy plan unequivocally aims to set China on a clear low carbon trajectory and will ensure the country remains a major global hub for clean energy technologies for years to come.”

The report can be downloaded on the Climate Group’s website.

Alison Brown

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