Energy and Climate in China

Energy usage in China has grown considerably over the last decade as the country develops economically.

This increase in energy usage can be attributed to increased industrial production, and also to increased demand for energy consuming’ goods and services by the Chinese population as they become wealthier and adopt patterns of consumption consistent with developed nations. China is now placed 2nd in terms of overall energy consumption (only behind the U.S.A), 3rd for oil consumption, and 2nd for electricity generation and consumption. China is ranked 1st in terms of coal production and consumption – with 69% of primary energy consumption being derived from coal.

China’s large national energy demand and consumption, combined with the fact that the majority of the nation’s energy supply is derived from coal, has resulted in China becoming the world’s largest overall national source of CO2 emissions, having overtaken the U.S.A. in 2007. However, China’s per capita emissions still rank 95th in the world, or 15% of the per capita emissions of the U.S.A. As a result of China’s total national GHG emissions, what happens in China in terms of energy production and usage affects not only China, but also the region and the entire world.

In terms of energy issues, there are two main areas where UNIDO provides technical assistance to China and other recipient countries. The first is industrial energy efficiency, and in China - this is where UNIDO has concentrated most of its energy related efforts. The second area is in the field of renewable energy technologies. The objective of UNIDO’s energy programme in China (in regard to both industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy) is to contribute to efforts of the Chinese government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial and energy sectors, as well as diversifying sources of power generation through renewable energy technologies.


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