China to hit peak emissions sooner than expected: report

The world’s biggest importer of coal, China, is expected to reach its peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and possibly even sooner, a new report says.


“This suggests that China’s international commitment to peak emissions ‘around 2030’ should be seen as a conservative upper limit from a government that prefers to under-promise and over-deliver,” the report says.

The report represented the views of its authors, not the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy or the Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change, which funded the report.

The report was released on Monday, the same day G7 countries resolved to end the use of fossil fuels in their energy-intensive economies.

The countries pledged to develop long-term low-carbon strategies and abandon fossil fuels by the end of this century, and invited other countries to join them, Reuters reported.

Australia’s policy to curb carbon emissions includes an Emissions Reduction Fund, which gives incentives to companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

However, the Australian government removed its Carbon Tax in 2014 and energy produced from burning coal has increased since then.

Recently, the US and Brazil quizzed Australia about the effectiveness of the Emissions Reduction Fund compared to the Carbon Tax it replaced.

The tough questions at a United Nations climate change summit in Germany coincided with a report that labelled Australia as a “climate change free-rider”.

“With one of the world’s highest levels of per capita emissions, Australia has gone from leadership to free-rider status in climate diplomacy,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide continues to reduce its use of coal, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.

On Monday, Reuters reported Chinese coal imports slumped sharply in May due to Chinese energy policies, which include cutting imports of low-grade coal and increasing clean energy production.

“Total imports in the first five months of the year reached 83.26 million tonnes, down 38.2 percent compared with the previous year, according to preliminary data from China’s General Administration of Customs,” Reuters reported.