For the 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period, China set a target of reducing its energy intensity (energy consumptionper unit of GDP) by 20 percent compared to the 2005 baseline, and it achieved a 19.06 percent reduction. This is equivalent to a 630 Mtce reduction in energy against the baseline and corresponds to avoided carbon dioxide emissions of 1550 Mt CO2. Despite this avoided CO2 emissions, China’s total emissions grew by 33.6 percent, resulting in the country’s emergence as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.
This review explores China’s low-carbon development efforts under the 11th FYP period. What drove the decline in energy intensity? How did government actions contribute to this decline? What are the implications of China’s experience for the 12th FYP?