A Chinese worker inspects rows of solar panels at a photovoltaic power station in Zouping, Binzhou City, east China. Photo Credit: Cynthia Lee / Alamy Stock Photo

Environment China13. June 2024

CO2 Emissions Drop for the First Time in Over a Year Here

Following a 14-month surge in carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions, China has finally seen a 3% reduction in its polluting energy consumption, thanks to the expansion of solar and wind generation and a decline in construction activity.

In March 2024, solar and wind energy accounted for 90% of the growth in electricity demand, a sign that China’s emissions could have peaked in 2023 after the country’s economy reopened when its “zero-Covid” controls were lifted in December 2022.

Despite a strong demand for fossil fuels, its share went from 67.4% in March 2023 to 63.6% in March 2024 in favour of wind and solar generation; steel production fell by 8% and cement output by 22%; oil demand growth came to a halt; and one in ten vehicles on China’s roads are electric, leading to a 3.5% decline in petrol demand. These trends will most likely continue as real-estate investment contracts, and the demand for clean energy grows.

Carbon Brief

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