China steps away from 2025 energy efficiency goal

(Climate Home News, 6 Mar 2024) hina looks set to miss one of its key 2025 climate goals as the government is targeting only a “modest” cut to the amount of energy needed to power its economic growth this year, analysts said.

Beijing is aiming to reduce its energy intensity –  the amount of energy consumed per unit of its gross domestic product – by 2.5% in 2024, according to a government policy work plan published on Tuesday at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress.

The target falls short of the rate of reduction needed to hit a goal of slashing energy intensity by 13.5% in the five years to 2025, energy analysts noted.

China is already lagging way behind that goal. Energy intensity fell by only 2% between 2020 and 2023 as the country powered its economic growth with carbon-intensive sources like coal, recent analysis by the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) found.

‘Admitting defeat’

“China is effectively admitting its failure to fulfill the five-year target,” Li Shuo, director of the China Climate Hub at the Asia Society think-tank, told Climate Home. “This year’s target is even more modest than the average rate of reduction needed, while they should be playing catch up.”

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Climate Home News, 6 Mar 2024: China steps away from 2025 energy efficiency goal