Climate talks: China to set an absolute cap on CO2 emissions

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A top government adviser for China on Tuesday confirmed that the target will be written into China’s next five-year plan, which comes into force in 2016.

“The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap,” He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing.

Climate negotiators from over 190 nations are currently flying in to Bonn, Germany to start a new 10-day round of climate talks.

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China’s current green house emissions stand at around 7-9.5 billion tonnes. Despite the absolute cap on CO2, He said China’s greenhouse gas emissions would only peak in 2030, at around 11 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent.

The move comes amidst local media speculation about the need to introduce absolute caps. The system will be more stringent than its current system of pegging CO2 emissions, which have soared 50 percent since 2005.

The announcement comes a day after the United States, the world’s second-biggest emitter, for the first time announced plans to rein in carbon emissions from its power sector.