China can reduce carbon and air pollution and grow its economy, according to a Tsinghua University study released a week after a landmark climate change target agreement between the US and China.
The study, China and the New Climate Economy, recommends the country set a medium- to long-term target for emissions and use the target as a guide and forcing mechanism to transform economic and social development and accelerate energy conservation and carbon reduction. The report examines a target where CO2 emissions would stop increasing around 2030 and begin to fall shortly after. The target would be a 58 reduction in emissions per unit for GDP at 2030 from 2010 level.
Policy recommendations also include stabilizing total coal consumption by 2020 with a decline following soon after.
Reaching the target would require China to implement policies on economy restructuring, energy conservation, energy efficiency improvement, renewable energy development and air pollutants reduction, the study says. If followed, China’s economy would be less susceptible to energy price changes.
With these policies, China can meet the target while maintaining growth of up to 7 percent to 8 percent in the near term and 5 percent by 2030, the study says.
A similar study, Seeing is Believing: Creating a New Climate Economy in the United States, was released in Washington in October. The study outlined a number of specific measures to cut emissions that would be economically beneficial for the US.
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