This year has been full of encouraging news from China – apparently, they’re committed to their war on pollution, and not only has their coal consumption decreased, but coal consumption has also decoupled from economic growth – that is, their economy is growing even as they use less coal. Now, China’s carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years – an overall growth of 5 percent, authorities declare.

Image via Clean Biz

“In the first half of the year, the growth of investment and production of industries with high energy consumption and emissions noticeably slowed down,” Li said.

This means that China has also used less energy – they’re starting to shift more to an economy based on services, rather than industry. It’s a slow and lengthy process, but there are good signs. Through reform and innovation, the country has redirected its resources towards a more sustainable growth – or so it seems.

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“There is no turning back in China’s commitment to a sound eco-system. We have declared war on pollution and earnestly fulfilled international responsibilities,” he said.

The Chinese government has pledged a 40 percent to 45 percent reduction of carbon dioxide intensity by 2020 – a huge drop, especially when you consider that China is responsible for almost a quarter of all the carbon emissions in the world.