Time: Thursday, October 3, 2013 | 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m. EDT
LocationWebcast, or in person at 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center
In 2007, the Chinese government answered the call by the Global Environment Facility to begin banning all inefficient light bulbs. According to a 2008 study by China’s Energy Research Institute, if China pursues an LED-heavy switchover by 2020 (which now appears likely), approximately 85 TWh of energy could be saved, roughly equivalent to the Three Gorges Dam’s annual output. This phase out is only one of the energy efficiency strategies that helps support China’s ambitious energy goals in the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plans. The energy efficiency, low carbon development, and ambitious renewable energy targets in these plans have been prompted not only in an effort to promote energy security, but also to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Christopher James, RAP principal, will join this China Environment Forum meeting to discuss China’s sweeping, comprehensive, and aggressive measures to improve air quality. These measures build upon China’s recent adoption of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standards and requirements for cities to publish PM2.5 data in real time. In December 2012, the National People’s Congress issued a law that affects 113 key Chinese cities, requiring regional multi-pollutant air quality plans and requiring the cities to:

  • Set up key emission control areas by 2015 and mandate emission reductions for major pollutants, including PM2.5;
  • Create coal-free zones in all key control areas that encompass at least 80% of the city’s geographic area; and,
  • Establish caps on the total quantities of coal that can be consumed, and reduce these quantities by 2015 and 2020.

In addition, Jeremy Schreifels, of the US Environmental Protection Agency, will focus on emission trends in NOx, a key precursor of PM2.5, and China’s 12th Five-Year Plan reduction targets for NOx emissions from power generation. He will highlight the potential and costs of emissions trading to lower NOx. Darrin Magee, of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will briefly explore radical end-use efficiency and large-scale hydropower as two options for addressing electricity production and carbon reduction needs in China. Mr. Magee’s talk draws on his involvement with the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire: China project and his research on large-scale hydropower development in China over the past decade.

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