China’s greenhouse gas emissions, the world's largest, will probably peak in 2025 before starting to decline within 10 years, according to a study by the London School of Economics (LSE) released on Monday.
That prediction is five years earlier than China previously pledged target date. The report also says China's adoption of a new economic strategy has contributed to this outcome.
China's coal consumption fell as the country has focused on renewables, such as wind and solar power, in recent years.
“This finding suggests it is increasingly likely that the world will avoid global warming of more than 2C above pre-industrial levels,” the report stated.
“Analysing trends in the key emitting sectors, we conclude that China’s greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to peak as late as 2030, the upper limit set by President Xi Jinping in November 2014, and are much more likely to peak by 2025. They could peak even earlier than that,” said the paper.
China has been struggling with chronic air pollution that causes serious health problems and researchers say the main aim for the Chinese government is to tackle this crisis.
China's progress in lowering greenhouse emissions is important for the success of the world's fight against global warming. The United Nations hopes to broker a new deal next December to contain the rise in temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius. According to the UN Climate Change plan, a 2C pathway requires annual greenhouse gas cuts of 40-70 percent by 2050.
“Whether the world can get onto that pathway (to 2C) in the decade or more after 2020 depends in significant part on China’s ability to reduce its emissions at a rapid rate post-peak...” said the new paper.