China sheds emissions equivalent to entire UK output over first four months of 2015

China’s emissions are plummeting as the country famed for being the world’s biggest coal consumer starts to cut its use of the polluting fossil fuel faster than any other nation. Official data shows China has cut emissions during the first four months of 2015 roughly equivalent to all the emissions produced by the UK in

China’s emissions are plummeting as the country famed for being the world’s biggest coal consumer starts to cut its use of the polluting fossil fuel faster than any other nation.

Official data shows China has cut emissions during the
first four months of 2015 roughly equivalent to all the emissions produced by
the UK in the same period, according to analysis by Greenpeace’s Energydesk
platform.

It finds coal consumption in China fell by almost eight
per cent from the start of the year to the end of April, with CO2 emissions
dropping five per cent during the same period compared to the same time in
2014.

This follows data for April showing coal output down
7.4 per cent year on year, with further falls likely as the Chinese government
enacts demanding new environmental regulations and further boosts investments
in renewable energy that has already seen the country become the world’s
largest investor in clean technologies.

The recent progress comes after China last year signed
a bilateral deal with the US pledging to ensure its peak around 2030, which
commentators said would provide further momentum for a global emissions
reduction deal to be agreed at the UN climate summit in Paris later this year.

According to Energydesk, if the reduction in emissions
seen over the first four months of 2015 continues until the end of the year, it
will be the largest recorded year-on-year reduction in coal use and CO2 in any
country.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said
other nations should aim to replicate China’s progress on alternative energy
and energy efficiency.

“While China has historically been used as an
excuse not to act on climate change, now we are beginning to see China as the
example of why we should act on climate change,” he added.

“While some of the drop may be caused by slower
GDP growth, the majority is clearly government action to curtail coal use and
rebalance the economy. China’s drop in emissions is a timely message to the
rest of the world ahead of climate talks in Paris in December.”

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