China to spend $27 billion on emission cuts, renewables

BEIJING Thu May 24, 2012 11:39am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's central government plans to spend 170 billion yuan ($27 billion) this year to promote energy conservation, emission reductions and renewable energy, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The ministry said China plans to promote more use of energy-saving products and low or no-emission power generation such as solar and wind. It also wants to accelerate the development of renewable energy, as well as energy-saving technologies, such as electric and hybrid cars.

China is the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), followed by the United States.

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday said China spurred a jump in global CO2 emissions to their highest ever recorded level in 2011, offsetting falls in the United States and Europe.

However, its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, or its carbon intensity, fell by 15 percent between 2005 and 2011, the IEA said, suggesting the world's second-largest economy was finding less carbon-consuming ways to fuel growth.

Longer term, China is targeting cuts to its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45 percent compared with 2003 levels and aims to boost its use of renewable energy to 15 percent of overall energy consumption.

Negotiators from over 180 nations are meeting in Bonn, Germany, until Friday to work towards getting a new global climate pact signed by 2015. The aim is to ensure ambitious emissions cuts are made after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year.

(Reporting by Wan Xu and Don Durfee; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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