China Supports G20 Target to Triple Global Renewable Energy by 2030

Solar Plant in Dunhuang, Jiuquan City, Gansu Province, China

China’s special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua, has reiterated China’s support for the initiative by G20 countries to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Xie also said during a news conference on the sidelines of COP28 that the world cannot forge ahead with energy transition without considering countries’ differing conditions.

The largest contribution of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change is that it mapped out the route toward the world’s green, low-carbon transition, for which energy transition is of great importance, Xie said.

To replace fossil energy with clean, highly efficient renewables is a global target that will eventually address the climate crisis, he added.

However, as reported by several Chinese media sources Xie stressed that the transition will be painful.

During the process, countries are confronted with different national conditions, he said. With different energy structures and available resources, they need to handle the relations between energy, food security, and climate actions.

“Only when they are able to properly manage these relations and ensure economic security can they see a smooth transition,” he said.

Xie also underscored the importance of mutual understanding and cooperation during the global transition.

“I talked with a minister from a petroleum-exporting country. The minister told me that 80% to 90%of the country’s fiscal revenue is contributed by oil and natural gas. If oil and natural gas are phased out, how can the country survive and develop? The country has its difficulties,” Xie said.

He added that countries should mutually understand and support each other and join hands to seek the best solutions. “This is our most effective way to go forward,” he said.

China’s Renewable Energy Commitment

Xie also reiterated China’s pledge to further promote renewable energy pointing out that China has made significant contributions to energy transition and renewable energy development.

Thanks to the contributions, the cost for wind power generation around the world has decreased by 80%, and the cost of photovoltaic solar energy has declined by roughly 90%, “This has laid a good foundation for large-scale deployment of renewable energy in the world,” he said.

The climate envoy also said China has seen its installed capacity for renewable energy surpass that of coal-fired power, which marks a remarkable change in the country’s energy structure.

According to China’s National Energy Administration, the country’s capacity for renewable energy had exceeded 1.3 billion kilowatts by the end of June, surpassing that for coal-fired power for the first time.

“China will make continuous efforts to beef up the development and consumption of renewable energy,” he said. “It will strive to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy in a gradual manner,” he concluded.