Carbon emissions dip, at least briefly, in China, study says

Jun 1, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2022, 2:27 am
FILE - Workers are silhouetted against a sunset as they handle a steel frame on the roof of the Wor...

FILE - Workers are silhouetted against a sunset as they handle a steel frame on the roof of the Workers' Stadium under construction in Beijing, China, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. China, the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global warming, has seen a notable dip in its carbon emissions over the past three quarters, as of June 1, 2022 — but it’s not clear how long the drop will continue. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — China, the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide that causes global warming, has seen a notable dip in its emissions over the past three quarters — but it’s not clear how long the drop will continue.

A new analysis of China’s economic data shows that carbon emissions dropped 1.4% in the first three months of the year, compared to the prior year, making it the third consecutive quarter to show a drop — and the longest sustained dip in a decade.

The downward trend began last year and accelerated over the winter. The decline continued but was milder this spring.

It’s not clear whether China’s emissions will continue to fall this year. Over the past decade, five shorter dips were followed by rebounding emissions.

China’s recent emissions decline was driven by decreased output in cement, steel and power industries, as well as COVID lockdown measures, according to an analysis by Lauri Myllyvirta, a Finland-based climate and energy analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

“Steel and cement are China’s second and third largest emitting sectors, and the demand for both sectors is largely driven by construction activity,” but policy changes on real estate lending and debt have at least temporarily depressed the construction sector, Myllyvirta wrote in an analysis for Carbon Brief.

Whether China meets its long-term goal to become carbon neutral by 2060 depends in large part on what happens in its power sector.

And that depends upon how quickly the world’s second largest economy can move away from coal.

China’s leaders have recently doubled-down on plans to promote coal-fired power, calling for coal production capacity to increase by 300 million tons this year, or 7% over last year.

Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace, told the Associated Press in April that economic concerns, including those related to China’s zero-COVID policy, meant that China’s leaders were prioritizing energy security over moving away from fossil fuels, at least in the short-term.

“This mentality of ensuring energy security has become dominant, trumping carbon neutrality,” he said.

China is currently the world’s largest carbon emitter, although other countries, such as the United States, have contributed a greater share of historic emissions.

China’s carbon emissions increased by 750 megatonnes over the two-year period between 2019 and 2021, driving the global rebound in carbon emissions after the first phase of pandemic, according to the nonprofit Paris-based International Energy Agency.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Norway joins neighbors, offers extra booster shot to elderly

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway on Wednesday joined fellow Scandinavian countries in offering a second booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine to some of its population, to be available from July 1 to people aged 75 and over, because of a rise in infections. “There is a need to vaccinate our most vulnerable citizens,” Health Minister […]
6 hours ago
President Joe Biden meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Japan's Prime Minis...
Associated Press

US to boost military presence in Europe for Russia threat

MADRID (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. will significantly increase its military presence in Europe for the long haul, including by establishing its first permanent presence in Poland, to bolster regional security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the opening of the alliance’s annual leaders’ […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Virginia toddler left in car dies, father kills self

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A toddler accidentally left in a vehicle for hours died Tuesday and police said his father was found dead in an apparent suicide at their Virginia home, police said. Chesterfield County Police received a call around 11:45 a.m. indicating that an 18-month-old boy may have been left in a vehicle for […]
6 hours ago
In this photo made on Thursday, June 16, 2022, rows of fresh cut beef is in the coolers of the reta...
Associated Press

US economy slipped 1.6% to start year; return to growth eyed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 1.6% annual pace in the first three months of the year, the government reported Wednesday in a slight downgrade from its previous estimate for January-March quarter. It was the first drop in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — since the second […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawsuit filed by family of woman killed while parasailing

MIAMI (AP) — The family of a 33-year-old Illinois woman who was killed while parasailing in the Florida Keys last month has filed a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against the boat company, attorneys said. Supraja Alaparthi was killed, her 9-year-old nephew was seriously injured and her 10-year-old son suffered minor injuries when the […]
6 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Carbon emissions dip, at least briefly, in China, study says