Limiting Coal Consumption in China

Case Summary: 

In 2014, China launched the New Energy Development Strategic Action Plan (NEDSAP 2014–2020) setting a target to limit coal consumption at 4.2 Gt/year by 2020, which is estimated to represent 62% of the energy mix. The Plan is a Low Emission Development Strategy designed through a country-driven process and rooted in China’s priorities, such as improving local air quality and addressing water scarcity issues.

The ambition to limit coal consumption in China comes out of a commitment at the highest political level, contributing to the achievement of China’s Copenhagen pledge of 40–45% reduction in carbon intensity compared to 2005 levels by 2020 and its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) goal of peaking CO 2 emissions by 2030 at the latest.

In addition, capping and decreasing coal consumption is a high priority in China’s 13th Five Year Plan, which will be officially released in March 2016 at the annual National People’s Congress.

According to a recent study by Greenpeace (April 2014), cumulatively, the coal control measures could result in a reduction in coal consumption of approximately 350 million tonnes (MT) by 2017 and 655 MT by 2020, compared with business-as-usual growth. This translates into an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions of about 700 MT in 2017 and 1,300 MT in 2020.

East Asia and Pacific
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Developing Strategies and Plans, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Nationally Determined Contributions, Low Emission Development Strategies
Barriers overcome 
Economic, Financial, Political
Global Good Practice Analysis (GIZ UNDP)
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