The new climate deal agreed between the USA and China could help the Chinese country clear considerable amount of its environmental issues.
It is a common sight in China, to see massive smog clouds covering and hiding building-roofs and towers. For years experts have highlighted the need for the country to cut down on its gases, to take care of its environment and more importantly its people, who are suffering the adverse effects of the pollution. The recent deal signed by the giant gives hope for a relatively cleaner and safer environment in the country. The measures intended by China are massive and which will affect the cultural, political and market setup of the country.
The Chinese president Xi Jinping committed to cap carbon emissions by 2030 and turn to renewable sources for 20 percent of the country’s energy. This will come at a cost of China needing to increase its renewable power sources to 67% of the current production. This means China will need to build close to 1,000 nuclear reactors, 500,000 wind turbines or 50,000 solar farms. The cost of the whole project will roughly come around 2 trillion dollars.
The task is not impossible, as by last year China had already become the world’s largest producer of wind and solar power. With the growing middle class being more concerned and more vocal about the country’s polluted air and conditions, the ruling party has to heed to the importance of cutting down on their gas emissions and going for more renewable energy resources. The country saw major protests this year against the rising pollution, with three of them turning violent
“China is in the midst of a period of transition, and that calls for a revolution in energy production and consumption, which will to a large extent depend on new energy,” Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the new energy and renewable energy department under the National Energy Administration, said at a conference in Wuxi outside of Shanghai this month. “Our environment is facing pressure and we must develop clean energy.”
Taking on massive goals is not new for China. It has taken on big goals in the past, such as the rapid growth and poverty reduction from the market reforms in the past two decades. And the ruling party understands the public’s growing anger towards pollution and world’s criticism towards its carbon emissions.
“China knows that their model, which has done very well up until recent times, has run its course and needs to shift, and they have been talking about this at the highest levels,” said Paul Joffe, senior foreign policy counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute.