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China Plans to Cap Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Jun 03, 2014 11:39 AM EDT
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China has declared that it will be making significant cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions, following the United States' pledge to slash carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions namely from coal power plants by 2030.

On Monday, the White House declared that the nation would be taking pains to lower its greenhouse gas emission levels 30 percent lower than what was recorded in 2005. This plan names coal power plants - a particularly "dirty" form of energy - as one of the country's top priorities, with the hope that the emission levels of these plants can be significantly reduced by the year 2030. Otherwise, the Obama administration says, these plants will be shut down.

China, one of the world's leaders in greenhouse gas emissions, acknowledged the US's efforts on Tuesday, praising the nation for taking a lead role in action against climate change.

"China noticed the US Clean Power Plan. We welcome it and expect it to be passed at a hearing soon," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing, according to China's People Daily.

Lei went on to say that China too will be stepping up its efforts to cut its significant greenhouse gas emissions.

It did not take long for the country's officials to take action. Later Tuesday morning, He Jiankun, chairman of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing that an absolute cap for CO2 emissions will be written into the country's next five-year-plan, which will be enacted come 2016.

"The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap," the chairman said, according to ReutersUK.

Jiankun explained that China will continue to monitor emissions and enforce efforts to clean up industrial air pollutions as much as possible.

Remarkably, even though China's greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise with its industrial sector since 2005, the country also became the world leader in making use of "green" technology in 2009, cutting more potential emissions and spending more funds on green technology than any other country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A study published earlier this year in Environmental Research Letters reported that the United States and China remain the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, making up 63 percent of the world's emissions along with Russia, Brazil, India, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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