Policy look: Post Carbon Pathways, a research programme from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne summarises the Chinese government’s climate change plans along its 12th Five-Year Plan.
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Chinese Government: 12th Five-Year Plan and Climate Change White Paper
China’s 12th Five-Year Plan and White Paper on China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change Government of the People’s Republic of China
Source – Post Carbon Pathways, n.d.
Source, aims and scope
China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–15), which constitutes its foremost national social and economic development planning document, was adopted by the National People’s Congress of the Chinese Government in March 2011. It includes a strong focus on addressing climate change and energy challenges with a commitment to achieving low carbon development.
The 12th Five-Year Plan (12th FYP) provides a policy framework and sets overarching national goals, including in areas of energy conservation and support for ‘emerging strategic sectors’, which include new energy, electric vehicles and environmental protection. However, it does not provide detailed policy and implementation plans, nor does it specify costs associated with the measures proposed.
The White Paper of China’s Policy and Actions in Responding to Climate Change (White Paper) was released in November 2011. It aims to assist the international community to better understand China’s policies by bringing together both the existing and planned actions of the Chinese Government to address climate change domestically. The White Paper outlines China’s priorities for addressing climate change across eleven main areas:
- strengthening the legal basis and strategic planning for addressing climate change
- accelerating economic restructuring to promote development of low carbon industries
- promoting development of technology to lower emissions from fossil-based energy sources and developing clean energy sources
- implementing energy conservation projects
- developing a circular economy and increasing the productivity of resources
- launching low carbon pilot projects in selected provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities
- establishing a carbon emissions trading market
- enhancing the capacity of carbon sinks
- building capacity to adapt to climate change impacts
- strengthening capacity to monitor Chinese emissions, undertake climate change programs and communicate with the Chinese public
- engaging cooperatively in international climate change negotiations, including providing support to other developing countries.
This summary is based on the climate change policies expressed in both documents, supplemented by information from independent analyses (see reference list below) of the 12th FYP and other plans released by the Chinese Government, including the Comprehensive Working Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction and the Working Plan to Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions, both released in the second half of 2011 and not publicly available in English.
For the full article, please go to Post Carbon Pathways.