Oxfam welcomes China’s INDC announcement in the fight against climate change

Published: 30th June 2015

China is expected to shortly submit its Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) following a statement earlier by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. China will lay out plans to peak its emissions and commit to delivering 20 per cent of its energy with non-fossil fuel sources by around 2030. Oxfam believes this could help catalyze action against climate change globally.

Tim Gore, Oxfam's international climate adviser, said: "China’s announcement to set ambitious goals to reduce emissions and increase renewables is welcome. No other major economy has embarked on such a rapid transition away from fossil fuel based energy at a comparative stage of economic development, while still lifting millions from poverty. In this regard, China is breaking new ground and starting to show the leadership that is so vital to global efforts to fight climate change."

Although China’s INDC foresees that the country’s CO2 emissions will reach its peak around 2030, the question remains over what that peak will actually be. The answer is important in order to fully determine the ambition of China's commitments. To keep emissions at a safe level – within the 2°C limit –all countries including China must set up an evaluation process for corresponding INDCs to ensure that nations’ climate goals and the 2°C goal are aligned.

China’s INDC is expected to set carbon emission reduction goals, and address adaptation strategies, finance and technology. More than half of China’s poor people live in areas that are vulnerable to climate change. In areas where the environment is already difficult for people to grow enough food and live safely, climate change aggravates the situation and forces them to bear the brunt of the problems.

Wang Binbin, Manager of the Climate Change and Poverty Team at Oxfam Hong Kong, says: "We hope that China can implement its climate change adaptation policies specifically to help poor people when carrying out their INDC commitments. China could consider working in areas that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, for instance by introducing specialized financial budgets and transfer payments."

Notes to editors

1. Oxfam has always been concerned about climate change from the perspective of poverty alleviation and development. Since 2003, Oxfam has integrated climate change into dozens of comprehensive poverty alleviation programs in mainland China to support poor communities through climate change adaptation. Furthermore, Oxfam has been conducting policy research since 2007 on the topic of climate change and poverty. Oxfam works with government sectors, academic institutions and NGO partners to promote the implementation of climate change policies that are beneficial to poor people. Additionally, Oxfam has followed up on climate change negotiations for years, and has paid close attention to the implementation of climate finance. Oxfam has brought about positive results in climate negotiations from the perspective of climate justice, which has helped to protect the rights and interests of developing countries.

2. The Intended National Determined Contributions (INDC), which came about through the Warsaw Conference in 2013, indicates that countries should submit their commitments to the overall goals of global efforts to address climate change. INDCs can include quantified goals, policies, plans and programs to mitigate carbon emissions, help communities adapt to climate change, address climate finance issues and ways in which this can be achieved.

Contact information

Matt Grainger, in UK, tel +44-1865-339128 (office) +44-7730680837 (mobile), matt.grainger@oxfaminternational.org

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