China's Shanghai aims for cleaner energy, lower CO2 growth

BEIJING, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:40am GMT

BEIJING, March 19 (Reuters) - The Chinese city of Shanghai will reduce the energy intensity of its economy by 3 percent this year through shifting from coal to natural gas and limit the growth of carbon dioxide emissions to 8.5 million tonnes, the city government said.

The city said in an energy-saving and climate-change plan for 2014 that it would curb growth in year-on-year energy consumption to 4 million tonnes of standard coal equivalent, keeping it on track to meet a total consumption cap in 2015 of 34.64 million tonnes.

But the energy would be cleaner as dirty coal would be replaced by alternative sources, according to the plan, posted on a municipal government website.

Shanghai will "increase electricity imports, increase the use of natural gas, encourage distributed gas and renewable energy like wind, solar and biomass", the city government said.

New manufacturing facilities for iron and steel, building materials and non-ferrous metals would not be allowed in 2014, it said.

While pollution in Shanghai is generally not as severe as in the capital, Beijing, the city is seeing more days when thick smog settles over the land.

Authorities in China regularly publish policies and plans aimed at addressing increasingly severe environmental problems but they have long struggled to bring big polluting industries and growth-obsessed administrations to heel.

Shanghai has an overall target of cutting energy intensity to 18 percent below 2010 levels by 2015. Energy intensity refers to the energy use per unit of gross domestic product.

Under Shanghai's plan, carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change, from new energy sources would rise by 8.5 million tonnes this year, but it did not give estimates for changes in emissions from existing sources.

As one of seven regions picked by the central government to pilot carbon trading, Shanghai last November launched an emissions trading scheme capping CO2 emissions from nearly 200 facilities in power generation, manufacturing, petrochemicals, aviation and ports.

Under the plan , the city government said Shanghai would be seeking to expand its market by opening up for trading with other regions, but it provided no details. Permits in the Shanghai market traded Tuesday at 39 yuan ($6.29).

(Reporting by Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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