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China pledge ushers in a “new era for climate politics” says Christian Aid

30 June 2015 - The chances of a successful global climate agreement received a major boost today as China submitted ambitious plans to cut its emissions, said Christian Aid.

By committing to peak its emissions by around 2030, increase it’s already growing renewable energy capacity to 20 per cent by the same date and reduce its carbon intensity by up to 65 per cent, China joins the wave of countries outlining their climate pledges ahead of December’s UN summit in Paris.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, said: “This is a huge step forward. China’s actions show just what a new political landscape we are now in.  Back in 2009 before the failed talks in Copenhagen, China and the USA were criticised for holding back progress.

“Now China is leading the way.  It shows that China is starting to do its bit. This is a new era for climate politics.

“The Paris agreement will be made up of these national pledges. With China’s now on the table we have more than half of the world’s emissions covered.

“By cutting its carbon intensity by 60-65 per cent by 2030 is getting close to the sort of commitments we will need to keep global temperature rises to below 2 degrees.

“Its commitment to scaling up renewables to 20 per cent of total output is particularly encouraging. It will soon deploy nearly as much renewable power alone as the total US energy sector.  It’s a game changer.

“The pledge marks a significant shift away from a fossil fuel intensive development path to one focused on renewables on a scale the world has never yet seen.

“With developing countries like China moving in a bold direction towards a low carbon future, developed countries should be willing to do the same if they want to reap the benefits of being in the vanguard of the transition to new, cleaner, energy sources.

“As well as reducing their fossil fuel dependence, rich countries should also help the poorest countries tap into their own renewable power potential, leapfrogging dirty energy like coal and reducing global emissions in the process.”

Ends

For more information contact Joe Ware at jware@christian-aid.org. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.


Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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