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China’s Carbon Emissions Fall For First Time Since Lockdowns: Report

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China’s emissions dropped dramatically in early 2020 due to massive quarantines (performance)

Beijing:

China’s CO2 emissions fell in the third quarter for the first time since the country reopened after the Covid-19 lockdowns, according to a study released Thursday, which experts say could mark a carbon “turning point” for the country.

But the threat of an economic slowdown may soon prompt authorities to turn to infrastructure stimulus measures, further increasing emissions, the Research Center for Energy and Clean Air (CREA) warned. .

The world’s second-largest economy has pledged to peak in emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, but authorities have struggled to wean the country from its dependence on fossil fuels.

China’s emissions fell dramatically in early 2020 due to sweeping quarantines aimed at tackling the coronavirus, then rebounded to higher monthly levels than in 2019 with the reopening of cities and factories.

But in the third quarter of this year, the country saw a 0.5% year-on-year drop in emissions from fossil fuels and cement – the first quarterly drop since the post-containment rebound, the analyst found. by CREA Lauri Myllyvirta.

The drop was caused by a construction collapse after Beijing cracked down on speculation and debt in the real estate sector, as well as high coal prices that led to rationing of electricity across the country, Myllyvirta said. .

“The drop in emissions could mark a turning point and an early spike in China’s total emissions, years ahead of its peak target before 2030,” Myllyvirta said in her report.

But he warned that “if the Chinese government injects further construction stimulus to stimulate its economy, emissions could rebound again, before peaking later this decade.”

While the coal crisis was “caused by increased coal consumption and price control policies,” the perception in the country that the transition to cleaner energy was to blame could make Beijing hesitate to step up its policies. climate goals until the coal crisis is fully resolved, Myllyvirta added.

The recent COP26 climate summit put China’s climate commitments in the spotlight, with critics accusing the world’s biggest polluter of not being ambitious enough in its emissions targets.

Communist leaders also face national pressure to avoid the economic downturn, making authorities reluctant to define specific emission reduction measures.

Earlier this month, parts of the north of the country experienced heavy pollution after China said it increased its daily coal production by more than one million tonnes to ease the energy shortage.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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