ADB-PRC Partnership Can Help Advance CO2 Emission Reduction Targets

News Release | 1 December 2015

PARIS, FRANCE –  Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao and People’s Republic of China (PRC) Climate Change Special Representative Minister Xie Zhenhua reaffirmed to work closely toward the PRC’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets, at a joint event organized by ADB and the National Development and Reform Commission of the PRC on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.  

The ADB President appreciated the PRC’s ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020, and 60-65% by 2030, peaking out its greenhouse gas emissions around 2030. He commended the PRC for its efforts to establish a nationwide emission trading scheme from 2017.

“Together with the government, we are now selecting a few pilot cities to develop clear pathways to peak out CO2 emissions much earlier for those cities,” Mr. Nakao said. “Lessons learned from these cities can be widely disseminated to other areas within the PRC to reinforce city and local level actions.”

To date, ADB has provided nearly $4 billion to the PRC for energy efficiency, emission reduction, and renewable energy projects. Out of these, projects approved between 2011 and 2014 amounting to $2 billion will reduce annual CO2  emissions by 25 million tons.

To intensify the partnership, Mr. Nakao and Minister Xie signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014 for cooperation on climate change related issues. For the PRC’s 13th Five Year Plan Period of 2016-2020, ADB is recommending even more ambitious mitigation targets for the whole country to peak out emissions earlier than around 2030. This can be achieved through a nationwide emission trading system, more climate investment, and innovative technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). 

There are already nine small CCS pilot projects in operation in the PRC. The challenge is to scale up and commercialize. ADB has been assisting CCS in the PRC through technical assistance since 2009.

At the joint event, a roadmap for the PRC to mainstream the use of CCS was launched. It recommends a dual approach. One is to demonstrate low-cost CO2 capture in coal-chemical plants and at one or two coal-fired power plants. The other is to carry out intensive research to overcome high costs and other hurdles in coal-fired power plants.

Wider deployment of CCS would enable the PRC to cut up to 90% of CO2 emissions from its fossil fuel-based power and industrial plants, according to the roadmap. The accumulated CO2 reductions would amount to 10 million–20 million tons by 2020, 160 million tons by 2030, and 15 billion tons by 2050.

Regarding CCS technology, in 2009 ADB set up a CCS Fund with contributions from the Global CCS Institute in Australia, and Department of Energy and Climate Change‎, United Kingdom to address capacity, knowledge and analytical gaps associated with early stage CCS projects and help prepare large-scale demonstration projects in ADB’s developing member countries. Currently, a new technical assistance from this CCS fund is being prepared to assess feasibility of a large-scale CCS demonstration project in the PRC.

 “We believe technology, knowledge, and partnerships are crucial to meet the formidable challenges of climate change,” Mr. Nakao said. “Our experience in the PRC will serve as a model for other developing member countries.”

From 2011 to 2014, ADB has approved over $13 billion in climate financing for its developing member countries, averaging nearly $3 billion annually. In the run-up to COP21, multilateral banks have been stepping up their commitments to combat climate change, with ADB doubling its annual commitment to $6 billion.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.  In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.