9 January 2017

China to cut 15% of energy consumption by 2020

China’s State Council has announced on 5 January its five-year plan – from 2016 to 2020 – to cut energy consumption by 15 per cent by 2020.

The five-year plan to save energy and reduce emissions sets the target to cut energy consumption by 15 per cent in 2020, compared to 2015 levels.

The plan outlines that coal will be used more efficiently and, by 2020, the use of coal will account for less than 58 per cent of total energy consumption.

Energy saving in key sectors will be promoted, including manufacturing, construction, transportation, trading, agriculture and public institutions.

For mobile sources such as automobiles and ships, emission standards will be raised.

China will continue upgrading its industry by cutting high-emission industries and promoting new sectors, including information technology, new materials and renewable energy.

Clean and low-carbon energy will account for the majority the newly added energy supplies during the 2016-20 period.

Total investment in renewable energy will be about 2.5 trillion yuan ($363.68 billion) during the 2016-20 period, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA).

According to the plan, around 58 per cent of new wind power capacity and 56 per cent of new solar capacity will be located in central and eastern China.

Waste generated by industry, agriculture and urban residents will be recycled, helping to promote a circular economy.

Supportive policies have also issued, including a pricing mechanism for resources, monetary and tax incentives, financing support and the levying of an environmental tax. 

High emission industries in major rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow and Pearl rivers, will also be better controlled in order to reduce water pollution.

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