Why China is at the center of our climate strategy

A giant leap forward: Country announces plans for national carbon market

China pollution is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rarely a week goes by before China’s air pollution crisis is in the news again.

The unprecedented soot and smog levels are triggering a cascade of damaging health and economic effects. They’re also contributing to an equally sinister, yet under-reported problem: climate change.

To avoid a looming national public health crisis and an imminent danger to the world’s climate, China must act soon.

China’s enormous carbon footprint

  • 1/2 of the world’s coal supply is burned by China each year
  • Over 25%of the world’s climate pollution originates in China

A giant leap forward

Fortunately, China is beginning to get serious about climate action. The nation of 1.4 billion—the world’s most populous and No. 1 greenhouse gas emitter—took a giant leap forward in September 2015 when it announced plans to roll out a national carbon market in 2017.

The national carbon market will reflect experiences and lessons learned from a series of pilot projects that EDF helped design, using a proven market-based solution to tackle global warming at a critical time.

Projected CO2 emissions under current policies (chart)

EDF’s long history with China

Over the past two decades, EDF Vice President Dan Dudek and his team have helped China establish a variety of market-based incentives to trim emissions, and increase enforcement of environmental laws.

These projects are part of the reason Dudek, an expert on carbon markets, earned a coveted spot on China’s highest international advisory body on the environment, which reports directly to the Premier every year.

Successes we’ve helped with

  • 3,500government and industrial stakeholders trained on carbon emissions trading
  • 39,000environmental officers trained to date
  • 1 milliontons of greenhouse gases verifiably reduced via low-carbon farming

An urgent opportunity

The nation is still rapidly transitioning from rural to urban. In 15 years, about 250 million more people will likely move to cities, and use twice as much energy than in the countryside.

The government has asked for our input on new environmental policies and programs in their next five-year plan. We’re ready to help with many projects, including:

  • Launching and building an effective national carbon trading program
  • Expanding renewable energy
  • Strengthening environmental enforcement
  • Trimming energy waste in major sectors
  • Enhancing energy modeling and analysis to inform policy making

If we seize this moment, we can help shape the outcome.

Dan Dudek Vice President, EDF

By welcoming the expertise of EDF, China is proving that it’s ready to tackle climate change.

Your support keeps our staff of experts on the ground in China, working closely with environmental leaders and policy makers to implement smart market incentives to fight air pollution and climate change.

If we get it right, we can help China make a faster shift from coal to clean energy.

Dan Dudek Dan Dudek Vice President, EDF

Chart and statistics source: EDF data, and EDF analysis of International Energy Agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration and EPA data