Oxfam welcomes China’s plan to peak its emissions and commit to delivering 20 percent of its energy with non-fossil fuel sources by around 2030, a move the organization believes to have the potential to help catalyze action against climate change globally. China is expected to shortly submit its Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) following a statement earlier by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
"China’s announcement to set ambitious goals to reduce emissions and increase renewables is welcome,” said Tim Gore, Oxfam's international climate adviser. “No other major economy has embarked on such a rapid transition away from fossil fuel based energy at a comparative stage of economic development, while still lifting millions from poverty. In this regard, China is breaking new ground and starting to show the leadership that is so vital to global efforts to fight climate change."
Although China’s INDC foresees that the country’s CO2 emissions will reach its peak around 2030, the question remains over what that peak will actually be. The answer is important in order to fully determine the ambition of China's commitments. To keep emissions at a safe level – within the 2°C limit –all countries including China must set up an evaluation process for corresponding INDCs to ensure that nations’ climate goals and the 2°C goal are aligned.
China’s INDC is expected to set carbon emission reduction goals, and address adaptation strategies, finance and technology. More than half of China’s poor people live in areas that are vulnerable to climate change. In areas where the environment is already difficult for people to grow enough food and live safely, climate change aggravates the situation and forces them to bear the brunt of the problems.
"We hope that China can implement its climate change adaptation policies specifically to help poor people when carrying out their INDC commitments,” said Wang Binbin, Manager of the Climate Change and Poverty team at Oxfam Hong Kong. “China could consider working in areas that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, for instance by introducing specialized financial budgets and transfer payments."