China to play leading role in climate change fight

By ZHENG XIN and ZHENG YIRAN | | Updated: 2017-06-21 15:56

China will play a leading role in the actions to fight climate change, officials said in a media conference during the recent 8th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8).

"Up to 23 cities in China took part in the Under 2 MOU committed to climate leadership," said Joan MacNaughton, board chair of The Climate Group. The 23 cities include Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

MacNaughton said that the Climate Group is delighted to work with China on climate issues.

The Under 2 MOU is a government coalition that refers to limiting warming below 2 degrees Celsius, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous consequences.

The Under 2 MOU aims at limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita, or 80 percent to 95 percent below the 1990 level by 2050. Right now, its members reached 175, accounting for over 1 billion of world population and one third of the world economy.

"China's leadership on climate change goes back so many years. China is the first producer and installer of renewable energy in the world, and is taking an active role in producing solar energy and wind energy," said Christiana Figueres, vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

Figueres said that China is a country that has a compelling vision for green finance under the leadership of the Chinese central bank. "We appreciate China's contribution to global decarbonization," she said.

At present, many companies are eyeing China’s efforts in climate change. According to Frank van Mierlo, chief executive officer of 1366 Technologies, a Boston-based company producing silicon wafer, an important component used in the solar industry, is already doing business in China, and is considering partnerships in the Chinese market.

The company produces high-performance silicon wafers with half of the production cost. Its advanced manufacturing technology reduces the cost of the wafer by half, requires just a third of the energy and eliminates production steps, time, and wasted material while producing a high performance wafer.

"According to the China Solar Association, China accounts for over 90 percent of the world's silicon wafer production in 2016. It's an important market," said Qian Yanchao, 1366 Technologies' chief representative Asia.

"Environmental protection is the right goal of our company. We make sure that we have an efficient manufacturing industry. Given 50 percent of the market share, our silicon wafer technology will save the earth 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide," van Mierlo said.

Mark Marino contributed to this story.

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