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Slipping Chinese Economy Weighs On Climate Change Efforts

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The Chinese economy has come under pressure from the U.S.-China trade war which has made tackling climate change more difficult for Beijing, a senior official said on Friday, noting that China won’t be able to meet its emissions reduction goals years ahead of schedule.

“With the economy under downward pressure, the country has to take more measures to guarantee employment and the people’s livelihood,” Reuters quoted Li Gao, head of the climate change office at the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, as telling reporters on the sidelines of a news conference.

“Some of those measures may not fit our effort to tackle climate change,” Li added.

According to the official, external factors such as the U.S.-China trade war have negatively impacted global economy and have raised uncertainties about the future pace of economies, making it more difficult for Beijing to invest in measures to help curb global warming.  

China’s greenhouse gas emissions jumped by 53.5 percent in the decade between 2005 and 2014, according to Chinese government figures that Beijing is obliged to report as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Chinese greenhouse gas emissions hit 12.3 billion tons in 2014, which was a more than 50-percent surge compared to emissions in 2005, the figures, cited by Reuters, showed in July.  

Carbon emissions data from China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emission producer, is opaque, but the country has to regularly report data to the United Nations. China has previously reported carbon emission data for 2005 and 2010.  

China has pledged that its total CO2 emissions would peak around 2030 and its carbon intensity would fall sharply by then. Last month, Chinese media reported that China is vowing to continue its efforts to fight climate change and boost energy saving and speed up emissions reduction.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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