May 30, 2023
China has a long way to go in carbon emission reduction

Date: March 23,2011

Source: Liberation Daily


Special report. Beijing, March 22. The Annual report on China’s low-carbon economic development (2011) was issued in Beijing by the Institute of Global Low-carbon Economy, the University of International Business, the Energy Research Institute of Economics and the National Development and Reform Commission. It states that, given the present levels of per capita GDP in China, overemphasis on pollutant reduction could slow down the pace of the Chinese economy.

The report pointed out that economic growth has always been accompanied by high carbon emissions, and vice versa. The analysis was based on the relevant statistics of 38 countries, covering a time span of over 45 years, from 1960 to 2004.

It is estimated that in developing countries, a US$ 24,517 per capita income would be the turning point after which carbon emissions would start to decrease. The present per-capita income in China is about US$ 7,000. The turning point in per capita income is thus three times higher than the current Chinese data.


China faces a similar situation to the one Japan was in during the 1960s. Overemphasis on carbon emission reduction will probably lead to the decline of industry and a low or negative growth in the economy. Judging from Japan's experience, the control of total emissions is the most efficient method to obtain a reduction in carbon emissions.

Hu Angang, one of the authors of the report, is a professor at the School of Public Administration at TsinghuaUniversity. He said that China, as the biggest beneficiary of globalization, must take responsibility for the whole world. Hu believes that we should keep the promise to reduce carbon emissions. The report provides a road map to meet the necessary goals. In the next decade, China will reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the changing climate. By 2030, carbon dioxide emissions will drop sharply, while by the middle of this century the total emission level will remain at current levels. 

Special report. Beijing, March 22. The Annual Report on China’s Low-carbon Economic Development (2011)” issued in Beijing pointed out that if the "carbon tax" was introduced, China would pay a lot for its emissions.

After the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the US, France, England and Japan developed the idea of imposing a carbon tax on imported products. Under the American plan, for the four largest energy-intensive exports, China could pay up to US$ 2,253 billion;  according to the European plan, China could pay up to US$ 7,675 billion.


The report said that in the new century China’s total volume of exports in energy-intensive products - including steel and cement - increased substantially. China lags behind the world’s average in energy efficiency for high energy consuming industries. Calculations show that on the basis of carbon emissions generated by actual energy consumed, China’s carbon tax per unit would be greatly beyond the world’s average level. With a carbon tax in the picture, Chinese export products would face comparative disadvantages.



Translator: Jiang Tao

Proofreader: Rebecca Valli; Karen Marshall