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- China’s CO2 emissions are predicted to decrease in 2024, marking a potential structural decline.
- Record growth in low-carbon energy sources, including solar, wind, and hydro, is driving this change.
- Despite a rebound in CO2 emissions in 2023, the ongoing expansion of low-carbon capacity suggests a sustainable shift.
China’s path to emission reduction
Recent data indicates a significant shift in China's CO2 emissions trajectory. Emissions are forecasted to decrease in 2024, a notable change from the rising trend observed over the past decades.
This expected decline is attributed to the substantial growth in low-carbon energy installations, particularly in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, writes Carbon Brief.
2023 saw a rebound in emissions, fueled primarily by increased oil demand and a rise in power-sector demand. However, this was counterbalanced by a historic expansion in low-carbon energy capacity, setting the stage for a decrease in fossil fuel usage and emissions in the coming year.
Implications for the future
The ongoing shift in China's energy landscape suggests a potential peak in CO2 emissions as early as 2024. If the current pace of low-carbon energy expansion continues or accelerates, China could see a sustained period of emission reduction. This shift would be significant, given the country's historical reliance on fossil fuels and its status as a major global emitter.
The growth in low-carbon energy, coupled with China’s increasing focus on clean technology manufacturing, also has broader implications. It indicates a strategic move towards sustainable energy sources, which could have far-reaching effects on global efforts to combat climate change.