Quarter of Chinese Companies Fail to Meet Energy Goals

China’s National Development and Reform Commission released a report January 3 finding that almost a quarter of the 16,078 major companies evaluated as part of the Top 10,000 Energy Savings and Low-Carbon Action Enterprises program failed to meet their 2012 goals for reducing energy and carbon intensity. The program was launched during the previous five-year planning period, when it covered only 1,000 companies. Punishments will vary depending on the degree to which companies missed their goals.

UN Sustainable Development Agenda Shouldn’t Harm Global Climate Efforts

Speakers at a January 6-10 United Nations working group meeting warned that the UN’s post-2015 sustainable development agenda should complement but not duplicate efforts to reach a global climate change agreement. The group will meet again February 3-7 to discuss how oceans, forests, biodiversity, equality, and conflict prevention could be addressed in the development agenda, and the new goals will be finalize by September 2015.

EU Favors Backloading

Representatives of the European Union’s 28 governments cast their final vote January 8 in favor of a plan to reduce a record excess of carbon dioxide permits via backloading, and the European Council and Parliament will now review the plan. The plan would temporarily cut by half the annual number of permits for the 12,000 power plants and factories in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, and return those 900 million permits from 2014-2016 to the market at the end of the decade. As a result, carbon prices are primed to rebound from a three-year slump.

European Climate Targets

The European Parliament’s Environment and Industry committees adopted a draft resolution January 9 calling for binding climate and energy targets, including a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030, a 40 percent energy savings from projected business as usual levels through efficiencies, and a 30 percent renewable share in the consumed energy market. The European Parliament will address the resolution during a February 3-6 plenary session.