It appears that the world’s second-largest economy and biggest climate offender is on the verge of an energy shift…

Source: China’s Green Revolution Arrives, Spiegel Online

From Xinhaunet:

China will proactively introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).


China is among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas and has set goals for cutting emissions. The government has vowed to reduce carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels.


Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

• ‘China is getting serious about taming coal’ (Grist)

We’ve got to somehow get everybody to understand that a different and better energy system is not only just possible, it’s inevitable.

Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in an interview for The Huffington Post article, 'Is Clean Energy Doomed If President Obama Is Not Re-Elected?'

(Photo source: Pew Clean Energy Program)

How should we think about the relationship between climate change and day-to-day experience? Almost a quarter of a century ago James Hansen, the NASA scientist who did more than anyone to put climate change on the agenda, suggested the analogy of loaded dice. Imagine, he and his associates suggested, representing the probabilities of a hot, average or cold summer by historical standards as a die with two faces painted red, two white and two blue. By the early 21st century, they predicted, it would be as if four of the faces were red, one white and one blue. Hot summers would become much more frequent, but there would still be cold summers now and then.

And so it has proved. As documented in a new paper by Dr. Hansen and others, cold summers by historical standards still happen, but rarely, while hot summers have in fact become roughly twice as prevalent. And 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.

But that’s not all: really extreme high temperatures, the kind of thing that used to happen very rarely in the past, have now become fairly common. Think of it as rolling two sixes, which happens less than 3 percent of the time with fair dice, but more often when the dice are loaded. And this rising incidence of extreme events, reflecting the same variability of weather that can obscure the reality of climate change, means that the costs of climate change aren’t a distant prospect, decades in the future. On the contrary, they’re already here, even though so far global temperatures are only about 1 degree Fahrenheit above their historical norms, a small fraction of their eventual rise if we don’t act.

A quote from Paul Krugman’s recent piece in the New York Times, 'Loading the Climate Dice'. You can check out the rest of the article here and the James Hansen paper referred to in Krugman’s article here.

Related:

(Infographic source: Climate Central)

From The Washington Post:

Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding.

1) Solar is growing exponentially.

2) Official agencies keep underestimating the growth rate of renewables.

3) Using only current technology, renewables could technically provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century.

Check out the details and the rest of the article here.