Unless China reconciles conflicting priorities this decade, only an economic crash will deliver its climate pledge

China risks cutting emissions too slowly if it fails to reconcile climate goals with other national priorities in the coming years, and only an economic collapse would then see it hit climate targets, a leading energy researcher at the National University of Singapore has said.
Speaking at a virtual conference on Wednesday (24 Feb), Philip Andrews-Speed, senior principal fellow at NUS’s Energy Studies Institute, said coordinating different government objectives will be a major challenge facing China this decade, requiring tough decisions to manage policy trade-offs.
There will be “winners and losers” as countries overhaul their economies to slash emissions, and governments need to muster the political will to resolve policy tensions set to arise as they begin to change course, he told the audience. However, there have been no signs that China’s 14th five-year plan, a top-level overarching policy blueprint due to be released in March, will thoroughly address policy conflicts threatening to hamstring climate action in the country.While tensions may be evident from the text of the document, how the impacts of the needed interventions will be cushioned has yet to be revealed. This puts more expectations on the five-year plan for energy, which is expected to come out later in 2021 or early next year.“If China keeps economic growth going at 3 to 4 per cent, there is still a lot to do to resolve potential tensions in the next five or 10 years. If the government doesn’t do it over t…. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/ydd3xysq
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