Fast Facts on Climate Change in China
China’s impressive development in recent decades has been driven by a process of urbanization and industrialization, powered predominantly by coal energy. This fossil fuel consumption has carried a heavy environmental impact; in 2007 China overtook the United States as the world’s largest producer of climate-changing Green House Gases (GHGs), although per capita emissions remain modest by global standards. China has taken responsibility and responded effectively; 2014 figures show a decline in coal consumption for the first time in 15 years, and China is now the world’s largest investor in renewable energy.
UNDP’s collaboration with China on climate change started far before it became a prominent concern worldwide. As early as the 1980s, the UNDP Country Programme (1982-1986) in China had already identified energy development and conservation as a priority area of the organization’s work. This focus has continued to the present day, with 422 million USD allocated to addressing climate change from 2011-15 in China. In 2015, UNDP’s work on Environment & Energy presents the largest part of the domestic-facing programme in China, with a strong emphasis on reducing and mitigating the impact of climate change.
In addition to this domestic programme, UNDP China has also strongly incorporated climate change into its portfolio of South-South and Regional Cooperation projects, where UNDP and China share domestic lessons learned with other developing countries. UNDP China's work on climate change is summarized in this fast facts document.