We rate China’s climate commitments in 2030 “Highly insufficient.” We base our rating of China’s NDC on its commitment to having 10% gas and 20% non-fossil fuels in its primary energy mix by 2030. Were we to base the NDC rating on the carbon intensity target only, it would also be “Highly insufficient,” but the absolute emissions level of this element of the NDC is highly uncertain as it depends on GDP growth.
The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that China’s post-2020 climate commitment is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement. It is instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow China’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means China’s climate commitment is not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
If the CAT were to rate China’s projected emissions levels in 2030 under current policies, China would also be rated “Highly insufficient”. While the upper bound of the current policies projections are rated “Highly insufficient”, China would improve to an “Insufficient” rating if it were to achieve its lower bound estimate of the current policies projections.
Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories.