This China country report by the country team in the Deep decarbonization pathway project (DDPP) summarize the key findings of the technical pathways developed by the Chinese team, with a view to achieve deep reduction in the longer term for China. The forthcoming Paris climate conference will lay out a foundation for the future international climate regime building upon the intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) submitted by various Parties. As the largest developing countries, China is also in the frontline to combat with climate change.

This country report start by summarizing the national circumstance of China which set an important narrative to understand China’s mitigation policies. Decision makers in China are facing multiple challenges including further develop its economy to enter into high income stage, secure its energy system to power ongoing urbanization and industrialization, improve air quality to enhance public health and local environment and control carbon emission to manage the longterm climate risk. To cope with climate change is no longer regarded as a cost, but rather an opportunity to help China deliver those social economic objective in terms of better growth, better environment and better energy infrastructure. From that perspective, a low carbon pathway is largely consistent with China’s domestic interest. A deep decarbonization pathway therefor is developed in this report to illustrate the possible trajectory that lead China to a low carbon future. A more detailed analysis is also conducted at sector level to analyze the possible technical solution for the transition towards a deep decarbonization pathway.

We also consider three key factors which may have important impact on the deep decarbonization pathway of China, including the replacement for coal with electricity in industry sector, the penetration rate of electric cars in transportation sector and the potential of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The DDPP is illustrative for China and associated challenges are also identified which includes the uncertain GDP growth in the future, the adjustment of economic structure and change of development mode, the development of non-fossil fuel in energy sector and behavior change in the urbanization process. All those factors suggest a strong policy response is needed for China to such transition towards a deep decarbonization pathways.

Finally we provide several policy recommendation which we believe is necessary for China to decaronize its economy and energy system. Firstly, China need to gradually promote the transition from carbon intensity control towards total emission control. Secondly, this policy intervention will create space to internalize the cost of carbon and China should rely more on market based measure to guide the action of various stakeholders. The market and internalization of carbon cost will increase the competitiveness of low carbon technology and accelerate the transition to a low carbon energy system. Thirdly, the reform is required for Chinese statistical system to improve accountability and progress track. Last but not least, the consumer behavior should be carefully consider during the policy design.


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Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP)