Climate change and China

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Transcript Climate change and China

Climate Change and China
Problems and Prospects
Richard Louis EDMONDS
[email protected]
In 2000 China contributed 15% of world GHG emissions
& could reach 30% of world GHG emissions by 2020
CO2 emissions 1950-2002
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Economic Development Population Growth & CO2 Emissions in China, 1971-2000
CO2 emissions per capita 2002
Sources of Chinese CO2 emissions, 2001
Sectoral Contribution to GHG emissions by country, 2000
What to expect by 2050
• Much depends upon China’s economic process
unfolds
• Population 1.5 billion (currently 1.3 billion)
• GDP per capita US$10 000 (2005= $1 702 [PPP is higher])
• Total energy consumption 3.9-4.9 billion tonnes of
coal equivalent (currently 2.3 billion tonnes)
• Temperature increase of 2.2ºC
• Precipitation increase of 7%
• Yield reduction of rice, maize, wheat 37%- crucial
for agricultural country like China (others give lower
figure of 10%)
• Increase in desertified lands
What to expect by 2050
• 85% reduction of permafrost islands on the
Qīnghǎi-Tibetan Plateau with a reduction of
surfaces permafrost of 10-15%
• Glaciers could reduce by 27%
What to expect by 2050
Further shrinkage of inland lakes & drought
• Coastal sea level rises & flooding
– If oceans rise by 1 metre, coastal areas below 4 metres
above current sea level would be flooded (an area the size of
Portugal) resulting in the loss of much good agricultural
land as well as submerging Shànghǎi & Guǎngzhōu &
displacement of 67 million people
• Fish yields would be reduced, especially in the
Cháng River (Yángzǐ) valley
• Heat wave increases - heatstroke
• Infectious disease increases - malaria, dengue
fever
• Pest & weed increases
What to expect by 2050
• Overall North China should get drier and
experience great water shortages
• South China should get wetter and
experience flooding in coastal zones
Not all ‘bad’
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Forest productivity could go up
Grassland productivity could go up
River discharges could increase
Agricultural production could grow in
Northeast
Energy use
• 2005- 93% from domestic sources
• More energy needed for air conditioning &
cooling
• “Renewable energy” will largely come from
hydro-power with its own dilemmas
• Nuclear, second most important element in
renewables, may be a ‘colossal’ security
threat
Tourism
• Nature reserve/scenic area disturbances
from climate change & sea level rises could
affect tourism
• Qīnghǎi-Tibet Railway could be inoperable
due to permafrost melt
Government view of international relations
• It is not reasonable to expect developing countries to
maintain lower emission levels or install expensive
equipment to control emissions on their own. Developed
countries should take lead esp. after 2012 in line with
compliance principles (put forward by MFA).
– China also uses historical argument for lower controls.
• 1994, China adopted its own Agenda 21
• China ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change (1994) as well as the Kyōtō Protocol (1997) but
was classified as a developing country in both cases & had
no binding emissions levels.
– China angered by US withdrawal from Kyōtō.
• 1998 National Coordination Committee for Climate
Change created by State Council
• NDRC in charge of climate change since 2003
• China released its own National Climate Change Program
in June 2007.
China, EU, US emissions cuts
CDM project areas (part of Kyōtō Protocol
projects begun in 2004) underway as of late 2006
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Renewable energy (greatest number 179 out of 255)
Energy saving, efficiency and improvement
Coal bed methane recovery and reduction
Fuel substitution
Chemical pollutant reduction (lower priority)
N20 decomposition (lower priority)
Afforestation/reforestation (lower priority)
Government responses?
• Climate change will remain secondary to pollution
control which will remain secondary to growth.
– In recent years worries about economic impact of
related disasters drives climate change agenda.
• Turn attention back to agriculture
– Infrastructure improvements
– Biotechnology include stress-resistance in seeds
– Is talk of large scale plantation agriculture!
• Continue flood & drought measures
– Technical hydraulic improvements would continue
– New codes incorporating climate change in
construction
Government responses?
• Attempt to get local governments to face the
climate change issue & take practical measures
– Concentrate on provinces which it sees as sensitive to
climate change (Qīnghǎi, Tibet, Níngxià) as well as the
fossil fuel-intensive provinces (Shānxī, Liáoníng, Inner
Mongolia, Héběi).
• Re-vegetation
– Continue forestry with emphasis on changing tree
species in line with climate
– Concerns for nature preservation, forest pest control,
over-grazing, desert expansion.
• Coast protection
– Better coastal defenses for tide surge
• Improve climate forecasting
• Reduce energy intensity
Energy Objectives (2050)
Impact of economic loss
• Most gains so far a result of higher energy
efficiency rather than climate change
reduction
– To date efficiency goals have not been met
– Reluctant to raise prices for energy or for
industrial goods
– Efficiency is now often being increased by
shifting manufacturing to higher value goods &
thus producing more value of goods per energy
used rather than reducing amount of energy
used.
• Slowed growth
• Poorer health
Other economic impacts
• But economic credits for taking on Clean
Development Mechanism projects for greater
polluting countries like USA under
– China already has 49% of CDM credits
generated world-wide
• China will need to move to economic
incentives instead of using top-down
political commands
• Water pollution investment versus air
pollution/GHG investment?
Impact- protests increasing since
2005
Political impact
• Clamor for popular representation versus
tightening of totalitarian controls
• Increased control of local politicians from
Běijīng & increased reliance on law?
• Geographical break up of country?
• Regional block development?
• Continuation of so-called ‘one-child
policy’?
• Move to export emissions to other
countries?