Last week the Chinese government tasked state-owned enterprises to cut their energy consumption per CN¥10,000 (US$1,570) by 15 percent and their carbon dioxide output by 18 percent by 2025. The move is part of a wider push to drive energy-intensive industries including aluminium and steel to reach the energy-efficiency standards Beijing set out earlier in the year.
According to a directive by the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the installed proportion of renewable energy power generation should be at least 50 percent. The Middle Kingdom’s ultimate goal is to begin turning back carbon emissions in 2030.
Among the other industries targeted for carbon emission cuts are cement and oil refining.
To date, China has reduced its coal use to 56.8 percent at the end of 2020, down from 68 percent for the prior decade. In 2019 the percentage of coal-fired energy production totaled 57.7 percent. Meanwhile, the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic growth dropped by 1 percent in 2020.
China has faced unrelenting pressure for the past several years to cut its carbon emissions, especially that of its aluminium sector. Although seasonal energy cuts and regulatory crackdowns on unapproved aluminium production capacity have been carried out in recent years, much carbon-heavy production remains to be addressed.
However, some Chinese smelters have made moves to relocate significant portions of their production to southern climes (especially Yunnan province), where hydroelectric power is readily abundant.