Carbon pollution

China will limit its total carbon emissions by the end of this decade, China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change chairman He Jiankun said.

The Guardian quoted Jiankun as saying at a conference in Beijing that the nation would introduce an absolute cap on carbon emissions.

The target will be included in country’s next five-year plan, which is effective from 2016, Jiankun said.

"The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap," Jiankun told Reuters.

"The opinions expressed at the workshop were only meant for academic studies. What I said does not represent the Chinese government or any organisation."

The plan comes the day after the Obama administration announced its new plan guidelines for reducing carbon emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030.

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"China and US have sent a powerful signal in the past 24 hours of crucial climate talks later this year to other world leaders."

Australian National University climate change economics and policy expert Frank Jotzo said, "The announcement of intent of an absolute target doesn’t tell us anything substantive….[On the US side] we have a policy for the electricity sector but not an overall national number."

Greenpeace UK chief scientist Doug Parr said China and US have sent a powerful signal in the past 24 hours of crucial climate talks later this year to other world leaders.

"The Chinese government has already set out ambitious plans to cut the country’s reliance on coal – an additional cap on CO2 suggests the country’s leaders are serious about tackling their emission problem," Parr said.

Greenpeace in China climate and energy campaigner Li Shuo said a carbon cap marks a "positive and natural step forward" and follows the implementation of a cap on energy use, which was announced in 2011.

Image: China to limit carbon emissions. Photos: courtesy of njaj/

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