China has emerged as a surprise leader in clean energy efforts, despite being the world’s top polluter, according to the Vivid Economics report, a study released on Tuesday. China has been ranked second position next to Britain in the value of its incentives to cut pollution from electricity generation.
China’s efforts were estimated at 14.20 US dollars per ton of carbon. China’s investment in clean energy topped 35 billion US dollars in 2009 and it is set to increase tenfold over the next decade. The significant strategies of the country includes shutting down of more than 100 small coal-fired power plants for cleaner coal stations by 2011, which would reduce emissions by 15 percent and offering subsidies worth billions of Yuan for green energy projects, aiming to generate 15 percent of the nation’s total energy from renewable sources by 2020.
According to the report, the 10 major power producers in Japan had joined a voluntary scheme aiming to cut emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2012 whereas variations of an emissions cap-and-trade system were in place in South Korea, Britain, Tokyo, and parts of the United States.
The six countries that made into the top ranking account for just under half of all global emissions. The study said there were few policies followed by these countries applied directly to coal, though it was the major source of fuel and carbon pollution for the six countries.
It also pointed out that none of the countries made any meaningful attempt to meet reduction targets agreed after last year’s global climate summit at Copenhagen. The report also showed that Europe and China leads in pollution reduction investment whereas Australia is lagging far behind due to its heavy dependence on coal. The report was commissioned by Australia’s Climate Institute