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Chinese Government and UNEP Report Highlights China’s Energy Consumption Achievements

UNEP26 November 2013: Together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of China has released a report on China's green investments, titled "China's Green Long March: A Study of Renewable Energy, Environmental Industry and Cement Sectors." The report finds that, despite rapid advancement towards a green economy, significant environmental and social challenges must be surmounted if China is to achieve its sustainable development goals.

According to the report, China successfully decreased its energy intensity per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2006-2010 and has become a global leader in renewable energy technology investment. In addition, it has reduced energy required to produce a ton of cement, a major contributor to CO2 emissions, by 41%. The report also highlights China's strong policy framework supporting a national transition to a green economy, including renewable energy feed-in-tariffs, subsidies and tax advantages, and strict regulations to assist in phasing out inefficient factories, halt water pollution and improve waste management. China's 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) sets a national target for the reduction of carbon emissions, through the reduction of carbon intensity per unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020.

The report also underscored the significant challenges facing China, which include that: China currently consumes 60% of the world's cement, 49% of the iron and steel and 20% of global energy; an estimated 90% of the country's urban water bodies are polluted; and outdoor pollution contributes to an estimated 1.2 premature deaths per year. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [China's Green Long March: A Study of Renewable Energy, Environmental Industry and Cement Sectors]