China hints at multi-trillion dollar green investment plan

Madeleine Cuff

China's plan to tackle climate change will require more than $6.6tr of investment, according to lead UN negotiator

The Chinese government is preparing to mobilise $6.6tr of investment over the coming years in a bid to meet its emissions reduction targets, the country's lead climate change negotiator has revealed.

According to Reuters reports, Xie Zhenhua, China's top negotiator for the upcoming Paris Summit in December, told the three-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue forum in Washington the country would deliver a wide-ranging new low carbon investment plan when it submits its national climate action plan, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), to the UN.

The INDC is expected to be published later this month, and Xie said it would be "quite ambitious" and would build on progress that has already made China's the world's largest clean energy market.

Xie said the country must rebalance its energy mix away from coal in favour of cleaner, low-carbon energy sources. "We will need to carry out international cooperation and research and development to reduce the costs of relevant technologies and to innovate so that we can reach our objectives," he told reporters at a State Department briefing.

China's climate strategy will likely build on targets announced in November 2014, when it pledged to cap emissions by 2030 and meet 20 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by the same date. The country is already tackling its coal dependency, with recent data showing coal consumption fell by almost eight per cent from January to April 2015 compared to the same period last year.

China's national efforts to curb its environmental impact come as it steps up diplomatic efforts on the issue. Last month, China and India issued a joint statement calling for richer countries to accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change.

"The two sides urged the developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets and honour their commitment to provide $100bn per year by 2020 to developing countries," the statement read.

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