China submitted its updated pledge to reduce climate pollution Thursday, offering slightly more ambitious goals and timelines compared to its previous NDC. The lack of new, significant goals from the world’s largest annual polluter was “consistent with everything that we’ve seen from [Chinese president] Xi Jinping’s previous statements,” Sam Geall of China Dialogue told the AP. (The U.S. is by far the world’s biggest historic emitter of climate heating pollution.) China’s new pledge, known as a “nationally determined contribution,” aims to peak CO2 emissions before 2030, a slight shift from the previous language that said “around 2030,” reduce carbon intensity by 2030 below 2005 levels by more than 65% (up from the earlier 60% – 65% range), and increase non-fossil energy by about 25% (instead of the previous 20%-25%).
“Six years after the Paris Agreement, China’s choice epitomizes the lack of determination to step up climate action among some of the major economies,” Li Shuo, a policy adviser at Greenpeace China, said. (AP, New York Times $, Washington Post $, Reuters, The Guardian, Axios, Bloomberg $, The Hill, FT $, Politico Pro $, CNN, South China Morning Post, Al Jazeera, Washington Examiner; Historic pollution: CNN)